Another deathless medical woman-in-periler from Palmer (Critical Judgement, 1996, etc.), this time pitting a young, plucky
brain surgeon against an international terrorist who needs a life-saving operation only she can perform.
In her spare time, neurosurgical resident Jessie Copeland plays Tetris on a portable computer game device. But she hardly
gets a free moment at Eastern Massachusetts Medical Center, where she is part of team experimenting with a worm-sized robot
that can be sent into a patient's brain and remove tumors previously believed to be inoperable. Alas, the robot has a few bugs:
it's difficult to control and occasionally shuts down just when it shouldn't. Still, Copeland's gadget is the last hope for patients
from all walks of life, including a famous gymnast whom the pompous, publicity hungry Chief of Neurosurgery Carl Gilbride
saves with the robot after sending Copeland off to lecture to a bunch of medical technicians. This attracts the attention of the
debonair master-of-disguise Claude "the Mist" Melloche, a terrorist, who, we learn from dashing former CIA agent Alex
Bishop, has not only killed more than five hundred but, it seems, has one of those inoperable tumors and has already murdered
another famous neurosurgeon—simply because that doctor wouldn't agree to let Melloche's miscellaneous Middle Eastern thugs
hold his family hostage. This time, Melloche plants radio-controlled poison gas canisters throughout the hospital. If released,
the gas will kill thousands if the operation isn't performed, or if Melloche's recovery is less than perfect. Copeland decides that
she'll save more lives by saving the killer's but then finds herself kidnaped by the terrorist's goons, with Alex Bishop in hot
A hokey scenario that, propped up with realistic detail and scene-chewing characters, raises important ethical questions
about medical science, most of them blissfully ignored. This is not brain surgery.