From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Andrews's exciting third helix-twister to feature Dr. Alex Blake of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (after The Silent Assassin
), DEA agent Ted Silliman suddenly dies in Taos, N.Mex., during a date rape drug investigation. Ted's partner, agent Castro Baxter, disputes the cocaine overdose diagnosis, while Alex suspects a violent hyperimmune response. When Castro and Alex join forces to find answers, they find a connection to a Taos public square fountain, and Alex later learns eight similar deaths occurred locally on the same night. As the death toll climbs, she's determined to stop a potentially serious epidemic. So why does Homeland Security's head, Martin Kincade, oppose her? And could Red Rights, a radical Native American group, be responsible? Andrews, a real-life authority on genetics (The Clone Age
), spikes the chills with a talking DNA computer named Sam and insights into hot-button Native American issues. (Sept.)
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The first sign of a worldwide bioterrorism threat could be one grotesquely bloated body, dead of unknown causes. This is the purview of Dr. Alexandra Blake, a geneticist with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, who is studying the genomes of diseases that might be part of biowarfare. The core of this mystery is the sudden death of a DEA agent in New Mexico, reportedly of a cocaine overdose. The agent’s partner, however, points to a conspiracy, which seems more likely when the victim’s body is cremated before Blake can confirm her findings of a toxin. Giving this novel authority is the fact that author Andrews is herself an expert on genetics and biotechnology. The procedure is absolutely convincing, except for when Blake ventures into private detective work. The writing is a little overblown, the characters a mite cardboard, but the scenario is chilling and the expertise undeniable (you’ll never drink from a public water fountain again). --Connie Fletcher