Los Angeles pediatrician turned novelist Philip Hawley Jr.’s debut novel — reminiscent of classic medical thrillers like Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain and Robin Cook’s Coma — is a subterfuge-laden page-turner that revolves around Luke McKenna, a pediatric E.R. physician and former secret member of a black ops unit of the Navy SEALS who vows to get to the bottom of an unidentifiable illness that killed a young Guatemalan boy. His investigation, however, only succeeds in putting his life and those of his loved ones in mortal danger.
After the boy — who was flown all the way to Los Angeles from Central America — inexplicably dies, McKenna orders an autopsy, only to find himself stymied by hospital administrators who are obviously trying to cover something up. McKenna realizes that a conspiracy of international proportions is being pulled off: The boy’s body is suddenly transported back to Guatemala and a former lover and employee of pharmaceutical giant Zenavax is found murdered just minutes after she called McKenna, desperately wanting to meet with him. Framed for her murder, the E.R. doctor must use all of his former military training to stay alive long enough to identity the true villain