"In a Virginia penitentiary, Detective Alex Cross and his partner, John Sampson, witness the execution of a killer they helped convict. Hours later, they are called to the scene of a copycat crime. A note signed 'M' rests on the corpse: 'You messed up big-time, Dr. Cross.' Was an innocent man just put to death? Cross soon realizes he may have much to answer for, as M lures him out of DC to the sites of multiple homicides, all marked with distressingly familiar details. Details that conjure up decades-old cases. Details that conjure up Cross family secrets. Details that make clear that M is after a prize so dear that if the killer attains it, Cross's heart will no longer have reason to beat"--Back cover.