Lethal factor

With a horrifying anthrax murder and the brutal, ritualistic killing of a nun, forensic examiner Jack McCain takes on two baffling new cases. Does the anthrax killing signify a frightening new wave of terrorism? And what is the meaning of the cryptic symbol gouged into a murdered nun’s flesh? With his daughter in danger and his ex-wife causing him serious trouble, Jack tries to make sense of these questions, and fights to discover the identity of the anthrax assassin.

The second in the Dr Jack McCain series, Lethal Factor finds Jack McCain trying to make sense of a horrifying anthrax murder and the brutal, ritualistic killing of a nun. With his estranged daughter in danger and his ex-wife accusing him of sexual abuse, lethal factor, anthrax’s deadly protein, becomes a threat to his own life in a way he could never have imagined. Another action-packed thriller wherein Jack McCain almost loses his daughter and the woman he loves.
  • Reading level: Ages 15 and up
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Headline Australia
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0733617212
  • Dimensions:18.0 x 11.0 x 2.0 centimeters (0.26 kg)
“St Benedict’s ‘Great Silence’ descended on the convent where it brooded in the winter countryside, miles from the lights of the city. No one would speak or even whisper until after mass tomorrow and then only if the Superior rang the tiny silver bell at breakfast. Often she did not, and the silence continued until morning tea.

The nun in the last room before the fire stairs sank to her knees. She knew it wouldn’t be long before he came again. She prayed the prayer of Gesthemane – if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me… It was a hard prayer, the hardest she had ever prayed. After all these years, the past had returned. In the first few weeks after he’d appeared, she’d worried about how he’d tracked her down. For nearly thirty years, she’d borne nothing but the anonymous religious name, no surname, no indication of her earlier origin. In the convent, the world no longer mattered. Now, she had to accept that the past had found her again.

It doesn’t matter, she thought, that I have devoted my life to atonement and forgiveness. Some things are unforgivable – some things are so terrible they are beyond the reach of heaven. The dark thought rose unbidden in her mind. No, she thought, I must not, dare not think that. that is to sin against the Holy Spirit, the most deadly sin of all. There must always be mercy, even for the worst, the very worst of evil. Even for—but she dared not think of that. The Black Legion – she was its daughter… He would come back. He would keep coming back until he had done what he’d set out to do…

Perhaps he is already out there now, she thought, shivering, and the shrieking night bird had seen him coming. Even now, is he standing in the darkness, waiting to the last light in the last cell to go out? Waiting for the blackness of a moonless countryside night, where no light from town can penetrate, blackness as encompassing as the Great Silence….

Wherever I go, he’ll find me. The Black Legion is everywhere. He had skills. He knew how to get in and out of places. He knew how to kill. And she knew why he knew and how he knew. It was her knowledge, too… she heard a sound. She put her finger between the leaves of the prayer book to keep the place. Yes, there was someone outside her window. Hatred like his could melt metal. She knew that hatred as if it were her own. His eyes would stare at the window lock and the steel would soften and melt like wax. To she looked towards the window, but it was worse watching. She averted her gaze.
Even those in front of firing squads are offered a blindfold, she thought.
I don’t want to see what’s coming.

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