It's spring in Buffalo, New York. At sprawling St. Paul's Hospital, new
interns rush through the halls, staff doctors scramble to catch their
protégés' mistakes, and everyone is aware of one unrelenting threat: A new
and vicious strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has hit
America hard and is menacing the hospital like a wolf at the door.
spacesuit-like garb to search for every possible source of infection, the
hospital staff desperately tries to protect the lives of patients-and of
other. Yet despite St. Paul's best efforts, people are dying.
In this chilling medical landscape, no one notices the slight spike in the
death rate in a palliative care ward. The prevailing attitude is "They're
supposed to die. That's why we call them terminal."
When these same patients
complain of terrifying near-death experiences, the hospital staff attributes
it to delirium caused by medication. But when ER chief Dr. Earl Garnet gets
blamed for the unexpected death of a patient, he defies protocol and opens
independent investigation. He quickly becomes suspicious that something far
more sinister than disease is killing the hospital's most vulnerable
For Garnet, looking into the deaths means rattling relationships that have
been built over years-relationships with several men and women he once
trusted but now must doubt. With the SARS epidemic spinning out of control
and a storm of suspicion, fear, and mistrust raging through the corridors of
St. Paul's, the hospital is rocked by a horrifying crime: A respected
researcher is found brutally murdered. And his executioner may be ready to
With brilliant pacing, scalpel-sharp suspense, and an unmatched knowledge of
the workings of a big-city hospital, Peter Clement is a thriller writer in a
league of his own. In his new work, he takes us on a galvanizing,
frightening, and constantly fascinating journey set on the front lines of
medicine-where some dangers can be prevented and others can only be feared.