Patricia D. Cornwell's experience in a coroner's office has amplified her keen eye for detail and talent for crafting books filled with riveting suspense. Renowned for her best-selling, hard-edged Kay Scarpetta mystery series, Cornwell now breaks new ground in Southern Cross. Her always gritty realism is tempered with broad strands of humor. Summer in Richmond, Virginia is heating up. Bubba, proudly wearing a confederate flag on his truck and a camouflage shirt on his back, shops for another handgun. Stolid and determined, Chief Hammer wonders if she can straighten out the massive chaos in the police department. As he slips into class, a skinny high school kid named Weed dreads being forced to join a brutal gang. Their paths are on a collision course-one that will carry them through dangerous confrontations and surprising friendships to an unexpected conclusion. Narrator Cristine McMurdo-Wallis conveys each varied scene with a sure sense of emotion and character.