The beautiful blonde in the penthouse apartment was dead, her face and body laced with slashes
from a paring knife, grisly evidence of the terrible things the city can do to
pretty young women. What sordid web of money, sex, and greed had ensnared Susan
Brauer? The stack of unsigned erotic letters in her possession was the first
clue. Then the murder of Susan’s lover, a married lawyer in his sixties, leads
the cops of the 87th to the women left behind: the lawyer’s wife, his ex, his
Detective Carella, his own father’s senseless death in a bakery holdup sears
through the intense summer heat, and sends him on a fevered hunt for the one
who made his mother a widow and shrouded his family in grief.
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