In Thomas H. Cook’s Edgar Award–nominated first novel, a weary detective tracks a blood-crazed psychopath Blood seeps into the gutters at the children’s zoo in Central Park. Two deer have been slaughtered, one stabbed fifty-seven times and the other slashed across the neck. Normally it would be a case for the Parks Department, but these are no ordinary deer. The pride of the small menagerie, they were given to the zoo by a prominent socialite who cannot afford bloody headlines. The NYPD hands the case to Detective Reardon, star of the homicide squad. A recent widower at fifty-six, Reardon has seen too many human victims to care much about the two butchered animals. He resents being taken off other pressing cases for the sake of politics, but soon another killing snaps him to attention. Two women are found dead in their apartment, one stabbed fifty-seven times and the other with her throat cut. Surely this vicious parallel isn’t a coincidence…. “Cook has shown himself to be a writer of poetic gifts, constantly pushing against the presumed limits of crime fiction.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review “Cook writes piercing thrillers.” —Daily News Thomas H. Cook (b. 1947) is the author of nearly two dozen critically lauded crime novels. Born in Fort Payne, Alabama, Cook published his first novel, Blood Innocents, in 1980 while serving as the book review editor of Atlanta magazine. Two years later, on the release of his second novel, The Orchids, he turned to writing full-time. Cook published steadily through the 1980s, penning such works as the Frank Clemons trilogy, a series of mysteries starring a jaded cop. He found breakout success with The Chatham School Affair (1996), which won an Edgar Award for best novel. His work has been praised by critics for his attention to psychology and the lyrical nature of his prose. Besides mysteries, Cook has written two true-crime books, Early Graves (1992) and the Edgar-nominated Blood Echoes (1993), as well as several literary novels, including Elena (1986). He lives and works in New York City.