Unknown disease or deliberate poisoning? A geneticist looks for the cause of a deadly outbreak.
Dr. Alexander Blake (The Silent Assassin, 2007, etc.) meets attractive DEA Agent Castro Baxter after Castro’s partner suddenly dies a horrible death while they’re tailing a mobster and an unidentified man to a meeting on an Indian reservation. Castro’s boss writes the fatality off as a drug overdose, infuriating Castro, who’ll do anything to prove his partner innocent. Alex’s agency, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), does an autopsy that reveals a negative tox screen but a T-cell count indicating some sort of hyperimmune response. When the body disappears, the DEA seizes the evidence. Given breaking reports of similar deaths, it looks as if a new disease, which the media are linking to an aggressive Native American rights group, may be ravaging the western states. The rising death toll spreads panic and attacks against Native Americans. Cut off from the investigation by the head of Homeland Security, Alex and the AFIP set up their own task force. The answer may lie with a doctor who years ago took a group of children with the rare Inflatus Magnus to an undisclosed location hoping to shield them and discover a cure. Alex and Castro must overcome a sinister conspiracy to discover the truth.
Strong characters and fascinating scientific details, but not enough tension to produce a real page-turner.