Colleen McCullough AO (born 1 June 1937) is an internationally acclaimed Australian author. She was born in Wellington in central west New South Wales. A neuroscientist by training, she worked in various Sydney and United Kingdom hospitals before settling to ten years of research and teaching in the Department of Neurology at the Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut, United States.
It’s August 1969, and police Captain Carmine Delmonico is away on a family vacation. Back at home, in the sleepy college town of Holloman, Connecticut, first one, then two anonymous male corpses turn up—emaciated and emasculated. After connecting the victims to four other bodies, Sergeant Delia Carstairs and Lieutenant Abe Goldberg realize that Holloman has a psychopathic killer on the loose. Luckily, Carmine’s beloved wife Desdemona sends him home from vacation early.
Carmine’s team begins to circle a trio of eccentrics, who share family ties, painful memories, and a dark past. They readily admit to knowing all the victims, but their stories keep changing. It’s awkward that one of them is a new friend of Delia’s, a woman she recently befriended along with the respected and innovative head of the mental hospital, who has been rehabilitating one very difficult patient to be her trusted assistant. When another vicious murder rocks Holloman, Carmine realizes that two killers are at large with completely different modus operandi. Like Delia, he finds this case too close to home when he barely escapes being next on the body count. Suddenly the summer isn’t so sleepy anymore.