Medical student Stephanie Monks is assisting her physician father Carroll in the ER when a drug-overdose case is wheeled in. He identifies himself as John Smith, but Steph recognizes him as Lex Rittenour, the highly publicized wunderkind behind Aesir, a company on the brink of going public with its stock and its scientific breakthrough: Regis, a computer program that pinpoints the genes causing myriad diseases. Aesir bigwigs and Martine Rostanov, his personal physician, arrange for Rittenour/Smith’s release, but he soon eludes them and turns up on Carroll’s doorstep, insisting his alleged buddies are trying to kill him. Arson destroys the hospital lab, Aesir’s CEO tries to bribe Carroll to forget he treated Rittenour, someone shoots up his car, and to keep himself, Steph, and Rittenour alive, Carroll and his old friend, a p.i. named Larrabee, must feint and dodge their way through San Francisco’s twisty streets, deserted factories, and the odd Korean whorehouse to discover who among the Aesir executives is resorting to murder to protect Regis and the IPO.
A step down from Twice Dying (2000), as McMahon cribs his plot device from recent genetic-engineering headlines and strains to place poor Carroll Monks in the detective mode.