For no discernible reason (he says), Dr. Jay Harrison, the leading bone-marrow expert at Boston's major cancer facility, Dennison Center, is being blackmailed; and if he doesn't come up with the money, all of Linda Dumars's frozen bone marrow will be destroyed, leaving her vulnerable to infection--and worse. Harrison asks Alex Glauberman, a former cancer patient and now part-time detective, to drop off the money and recover the marrow. Except that the marrow isn't there, and unless it's recovered, Linda will probably die, within days. The blackmailer seems to be someone from Harrison's hippie days, perhaps one of three people he traveled cross-country with. Or is this all an elaborately staged distraction? Alex also concentrates on Linda's philandering husband, hospital personnel, and anyone with access to the marrow repository room, including Harrison's former protÃ‰gÃ‰. Meanwhile, he uncovers an old romance of Harrison's, and a former compatriot who's been outwitting the FBI for decades. Then, in a twist, the marrow cells are found, and endangered again by yet another party, before Linda Dumars a safely on her way to recovery. More intriguing than either Return to Sender or Repulse Monkey, with enough fodder here for science enthusiasts and suspense fans. A nice step up.