Dr. Alexander Blake, an Armed Forces pathologist, is called in to examine a Las Vegas DEA agent who died from a sudden, violent anaphylactic reaction with no apparent cause. Dr. Alex and his partner Castro soon discover eight children also died that night with similar symptoms. What is causing this sudden, grotesque swelling that breaks bones and chokes victims? Is it a new disease, is it bioterrorism, or is it an insane murderer?
This action packed thriller races from one horrific situation to another. Soon Homeland Security, the DEA, and the military are fighting one another for control and a radical Native American group is using the panic to convince the US to return to Indian ways. While Alex frantically searches for answers, she also has to quell government panic.
The detailed pathology of these attacks is skillfully integrated into the story. Andrews, obviously an expert in the field, knows how to explain the medical aspects briefly and simply. Even with a talking DNA computer, the bulk of the story is extremely believable. Alex and Castro in particular are sympathetic. The talented Alex has to fight sexism and stupid bureaucrats, and Castro keeps his marriage difficulties secret from Alex, though they are obviously attracted to one another. Even the criminal mastermind seems to have complex, almost sympathetic reasons for his behavior. Extremely suspenseful, with taut writing and appealing characters, this book is an exciting read.