The author of The Mind Palace (1985) turns to the world of chemical and biological warfare--and to a plot to turn a profit from a quick and easy form of bubonic plague. Handsome Dr. Orestes Bradley is badly baffled. He's been seeing some very sick people with some very confusing symptoms--people who seem to be dying from bubonic fever with new and unusual complications. And, worse luck, one of the victims went wild and flipped a needle from her vein to Dr. Bradley's shoulder, which now hurts like crazy. How can this be? It all goes back to a hellish experimental laboratory in WW II Japanese-occupied China, where the coolly maniacal Dr. Ran did a series of sadistic tests on less-than-human Chinese and American prisoners in order to check out some of his theories on disease. Captured at the end of the war by an Ivy League army captain with an eye on the future, Ran became the cornerstone of a multinational house of chemicals--whose glamorous French chief financial officer now has eyes for Dr. Orestes Bradley. Alas, he can't relate to anybody while his shoulder hurts so bad. The nasty cases of plague and other loathsome ailments spread, demanding all of Dr. Bradley's attention as he rockets from hospital to military base to hospital in his Porsche, trying to make sense of it all. Enough medical mumbo-jumbo to keep confirmed hypochondriacs happily busy. Others might find the endless Latinisms and silly plot turns--well, too plaguing.