Neurosurgeon Dr Lucas McCrae is in Hong Kong to carry out what should be a routine medical demonstration. When he uncovers the cadaver head he is to perform the demonstration on he is shocked to discover it is his best friend Andy Baer. He convinces himself he must be wrong but a niggling concern grows out of control when he returns to Seattle to discover Andy is missing. Elsewhere Detective Sergeant Elliott is looking into the disappearance of a prostitute she has befriended while working undercover. The trail leads to DFH Inc, a funeral home that also provides body parts for medical research. When the pair's paths cross it seems clear there is a link between the missing people and that DFH's involvement is more than just a coincidence. Their problem is proving it, especially when there appears to be a leak in Wendy's department.
The author is a renowned neurosurgeon and his background is a clear benefit as this book is a grisly but worryingly plausible thriller. The reader is thrown into the story from the very start and I was compelled to read on to discover whether the duo would be able to link DFH to the disappearances or whether all the evidence would go up in smoke before they could find a way to prove their suspicions.
While the main plot moves at quite a pace there is still time for the author to develop the main characters. We discover Lucas is trying to salvage a crumbling marriage and Wendy working with her ex-husband. As two intelligent attractive people thrown together in stark circumstances it's no surprise when the sparks start flying. This provides a welcome relief from the gruesome business at hand. The bad guy, DFH boss Bobby Ditto was seriously creepy, and almost convincing in his justifications for what his company is doing. The balance between moving the plot on and building characters with some depth has been well done.
This is very much the sort of thriller I enjoy and although there is a lot to the story it is progressed in a nice linear fashion, it was not difficult to follow and for me it reached a satisfying conclusion. I think had it not been for a couple of parts which seemed to push the boundaries of what was likely this would have been a definite 5* book.
Format: Kindle, review copy
Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions
My rating: 4*