A US debut novel (first published in 1988 in Britain) in which San Francisco freelance journalist Joseph Radkin begins to wonder: What were Malcolm Greene, the director of the People's Medical Center, and genetic-engineering scientist Krohl doing in the hospital lab at midnight just before it blew them and everything in it to kingdom come? The clues point to the Cherry Blossom restaurant, which unwittingly catered an outbreak of salmonella poisoning. Were the men studying that? Another reporter covering the story disappears; a morphine-hooked Vietnam vet spreads tales of Vietnamese women being abducted from the San Francisco streets; and Greene's sister Robin, an anti-military-establishment terrorist, had been skulking the hospital corridors just before the explosion. Radkin, assisted by pregnant wife Polly (she soon delivers twins), is horrified to discover that a Krohl virus, paid for by the Army and unleashed in Vietnam, caused birth anomalies and that the victims, Asians known as Montagnards, are systematically being removed--and experimented on, under the codeword genesis. Who blew the whistle and threw the bomb to stop it? Radkin and Polly, between baby feedings, uncover all in a dour, downbeat ending. Terrific, unsentimental parenting patter--in a needlessly complicated, overfamiliar medical-mystery plot.