Baker & Taylor The mutilated body of a notorious underworld figure leads forensic pathologist Dr. Jack Stapleton to a mysterious group in Africa that uses state-of-the-art medical technology for sinister purposes. 350,000 first printing. $300,000 ad/promo. Lit Guild, Mystery Guild, & Doubleday Main.
Blackwell North Amer When notorious underworld figure Carlo Franconi is gunned down, his mafioso competitors become prime suspects. Suspicious are fueled when Franconi's body disappears from the city morgue before it can be autopsied - much to the embarrassment of the chief medical examiner and the mayor, but to the amusement of the morgue's resident cynic, forensic pathologist Dr. Jack Stapleton. A few days later, when the mutilated, unidentifiable body of a "floater" arrives on the autopsy table, Jack is troubled by the case. While unidentified bodies routinely make their way to the medical examiner's office, what piques Jack's curiosity is not so much this body's missing head, hands, and feet, but its missing liver. Aided by his colleague Dr. Laurie Montgomery, Jack identifies the corpse as the missing Franconi, but this positive identification in no way solves the mystery. Who killed Carlo Franconi? And was the triggerman responsible for the theft of Franconi's body and its eventual mutilation?