About Gray Matter
A celebrated pianist has been found dead, decapitated by a sharp instrument, possibly a meat cleaver. His head is missing. The skin on his back has been carved into the bas-relief of a mongrel dog. It is a savage, seemingly senseless slaying. But it is only the first. Penelope Jennifer Gray, known as PJ, is a newly divorced psychologist making a fresh start with her twelve-year-old son in St. Louis. A pioneer in the field of computer simulation studies, she has been hired to set up a new division within the St. Louis Police Department. Through cutting-edge techniques of virtual reality, the Computerized Homicide Investigations Project, or CHIP, recreates real-life crimes by placing the investigator in the mind of the perpetrator. PJ teams up with Leo Schultz, a veteran cop fast approaching burnout, to investigate the case that has St. Louis is a death-grip.
He's a face in the crowd. A figure in the shadows. The guy standing behind you at the street corner, waiting for the light to change. With each fresh killing, Pauley Mac adds another victim to his "guest" list. They are the voices in his head. The coveted talents he hopes to one day possess. The furies he can no longer control.
For PJ Gray, at the mercy of a cunning monster with none to give, it will take all of her instincts as a psychologist and as a woman to beat Pauley Mac at his own game. To survive, she must enter the mind of a killer.
"Kennett is a writer of rare skill, and Gray Matter is a deftly plotted novel bristling with suspense. Its characters are real and contemporary, and its premise is gripping and unique. Not since Red Dragon has a more menacing serial killer roamed metropolitan St. Louis. A rip-roaring good read. Let's see more of PJ Gray!"
- John Lutz, author of Single White Female and Serial
"Fans of Patricia Cornwell's work will be hooked on his heart-stopping and harrowing thriller. The finely drawn characters in Gray Matter are both complex and terrifyingly convincing."
- Romantic Times
“Kennett’s devious creativity and bloodcurdling, realistic descriptive passages result in a terrifying and explosive thriller.”
“Shirley Kennett is a polished and poised addition to the ranks of contemporary mystery writers. You’re going to enjoy her books.”
- Mystery Scene
“A sleek and cunning read, with enough plot turns to keep the pages flying by.”
- Ed Gorman, author of Bad Moon Rising and Blindside
“May leave some readers sleepless.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“Kennett’s storytelling talents win out. Solid entertainment.”
- Publishers Weekly