edition, first printing, fine in a fine dustjacket.ISBN 9780385311328
In Mortal Grace, Lieutenant Vince Cordozo of the NYPD returns to tackle his most challenging case yet - an explosive mix of teenage runaways, fallen priests, ritual murder and police cover-up. A posh Upper East Side Episcopal church throws a celebrity-studded party in a landmark garden - but the fiesta is cut short with the discovery of a long-buried hamper containing the brutally dismembered body of a teenage girl. The autopsy reveals that the nameless victim was a prostitute who pushed the boundaries of her trade too far - and died with a puzzling residue of bread mold in her mouth. Haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his own teenage niece six years earlier, Cardozo pieces together evidence that a shadowy figure is stalking homeless teenagers - a "communion killer" who lures his prey with promises of salvation - whose trademark is a wafer left on the tongue of each victim - and who is being inexplicably protected by the most powerful politicians and churchmen in the city. Cardozo's investigation narrows to three priests: Chuck Romero, a tormented Catholic battling his own addictions and desires Joe Montgomery, charismatic Episcopal confessor and companion to the moneyed and powerful and Bonnie Ruskay, a beautiful and idealistic young mother dedicated to healing the breach between rich and poor, between herself and the children she was forced to renounce when she took holy orders. Cardozo and his partner Ellie Siegel must peel back layer after layer of riddles: why have four identical murders been investigated as unrelated homicides? Why does the D.A. deny church involvement? Why have the media blacked out the killings? And when the case is solved and the killer finally jailed, why do the communion killings begin again? Racing against the clock, disobeying his superiors' commands to back off, fighting a cover-up at the highest levels of power, Cardozo must uncover the grisly, startling truth before another innocent victim is sacrificed.