With his signature blend of suspense and science, Robin Cook delivers an electrifying page-turner that delves into the murky ethics of developing genomic medicine and modern-day health care...
As her relationship with Dr. Jack Stapleton begins to unravel, Dr. Laurie Montgomery starts investigating the inexplicable deaths of young, healthy people after successful routine surgery. She discovers that the deaths might be intentional—the work of a remarkably clever serial killer with a shocking motive. And then Laurie is hit with more devastating news: she might be carrying the genetic marker for breast cancer. As the need for answers becomes more urgent, Laurie is pulled into the nightmare as a potential victim herself. With time winding down, she and Jack must put aside the tensions between them in a race to connect the dots—and save Laurie’s life...
The bestselling physician/author is in top form as he revisits the love/hate relationship between New York City medical examiners Laurie Montgomery and her lover, Jack Stapleton (last seen in 1999's Vector) in this gripping medical chiller. Childless and facing her 43rd birthday, Laurie moves out when Jack, still traumatized by the accidental deaths of his wife and children over a decade ago, refuses to talk marriage and babies. They've still got to work together at the office of the chief medical examiner, though, and it's there that Laurie's charged with autopsying the bodies of two people who died after minor surgeries at the same Manhattan hospital. As similar deaths mount up, Laurie struggles to convince Jack et al. that something's fishy. (Early on, a shadow plot introduces homicidal hospital employee Jasmine Rakoczi and Mr. Bob, the mastermind of a sinister but undefined plot to "sanction" selected patients using an undetectable medical agent.) Laurie's superiors forbid her to discuss her suspicions with anyone outside the OCME, but she disobeys these orders when she meets the dreamboat chief of medicine at the hospital in question and successfully engages his interest in her theory that a serial killer is on the loose. The body count climbs as another hospital is involved and political pressure mounts to suppress information. True love runs a rocky course, and the plot thickens before the denouement crackles to an electric edge-of-the-seat finale.