This is a realistic medical thriller-mystery. The author's personal experience in medicine and research shows on almost every page. The story of what may have caused rare and fatal cancers almost becomes lost at times among a huge cast of characters, all pursuing their personal interests in medicine, broadcasting, research, the pharmaceutical industry, business, and politics. I admit I had a bit of trouble following the different scenarios at times, but by the halfway point, a pattern emerged. Even minor characters are given distinctive quirks and mannerisms that distinguish them and help to keep them straight. And the two principal characters, pediatric oncologist Zeke Schwartz and radio talk show host Acey Henson, are definitely memorable.
Through the interactions of all these characters, the reader gets a look at how various systems work and affect one another. People who treat sick children, other people who make drugs to treat disease, who sell those drugs, who invest in the companies that develop and produce drugs. Then there are the behind-the-scenes people who test the drugs and keep track of the results, and the FDA which regulates and monitors those drugs. Throw in the media and a few politicians and things get complicated.
The plot is well thought out and worth following through the different perspectives. The human element isn't forgotten, however. We see people doing their jobs, experiencing highs and lows in the process. There aren't any really evil characters, but a few are less than admirable. Acey is a bit rough but her good qualities outweigh the not so good. Zeke is almost too good to be true at times, but that makes it easy to root for him. Some characters' stories are left unresolved at the end, just like in "real life." Altogether, this is an interesting and satisfying read.
(reviewed 89 days after purchase)