Book #6 in the Lincoln Rhyme series (published 2005)
A high-school girl in Harlem, Geneva Settle, is the target of a ruthless professional killer—Thompson Boyd—who has been hired to murder her for reasons unknown. His first attempt, in a deserted museum early one morning, is a failure but it’s clear to Lincoln Rhyme that he’s going to strike again, from clues the killer leaves behind, one of which is the twelfth card in the tarot deck, The Hanged Man, whose meaning resonates eerily throughout the story.
Assisted by Fred Dellray, Mel Cooper and Lon Sellitto (suffering from a severe case of shattered nerves due to a near miss by the killer), Rhyme and partner Amelia Sachs work frantically to learn who the hit man and his partner are and when they will strike next, all the while trying to crack a very “cold” case: Rhyme believes that Geneva may have been targeted because of a paper she’s writing about her ancestor, Charles Singleton, a former slave who was instrumental in the civil rights movement in the 1860s, but who was arrested for theft and disgraced.
In his correspondence Charles wrote about a “secret,” that could have tragic consequences if revealed. What was his secret? Does it have to do with stolen gold? Or does it have a far broader implications?