Dr. Laurie Montgomery is a forensic doctor who is assigned a series of strange overdoses following a pattern: all of them have died of cocaine overdose, are wealthy people and none of them is known as a drug addict. Parallel to that, he meets Detective Lou Soldano, who is investigating some killings done by the Mafia.
Dr. Laurie takes the overdoses personally; his brother also died in a drug overdose. She thinks she commits herself to the job of discovering the anomaly in the deaths just because of that. She also notices that the deaths were murders and not self overdoses. She suspects there is some lethal compound on the bodies but the laboratory does not find any.
The style of the novel is similar to Cook's other novels. There is a medical heroine who slowly is discovering an evil plot. Also, it is written in a diary style with exact dates. Cook's description of the criminals is consistent with other novelists' handling of the Mafia subject. The reader can find some resemblances to Mario Puzo's description of Italian crime families.
The novel possesses a great dose of suspense and the mystery is solved at the end. Nevertheless, there is enough facts about it that allow the reader to solve it much time before the ending; plus, the theme is found in other Cook's novels, so, the mystery is not so deep. As in his other works, Cook makes the main heroine unaware of danger and even defiant towards it. It lacks a sense of plausibility on this case, as she can escape two professional killers getting no harm at all. It is absurd due to the fact that those two killers could not be stopped by a man carrying a shotgun (Dr. Montgomery had no weapons at all and she could avoid them). Also, we find a common theme here as in movies: the criminals do not kill their enemies (Dr. Montgomey and Lou Soldano) on sight; they prefer to send them elsewhere, thus, permitting them a way to escape death. This is something called "Plot immunity", that is, some characters cannot be killed on the story. David 17:59, 27 September 2008 (UTC)