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Summary

Summary

The author of the bestselling The Fourth Procedure is back with a provocative thriller that takes readers to a place where memories can become a living nightmare. As a brilliant scientist comes close to an astonishing neurological breakthrough that will alter the very nature of mankind, three lives intersect with shattering consequences.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

On the eve of marriage, Nat Hennessy and Camilla Bissonette are threatened with secrets of the past. He is a street-smart New York detective, barely able to conceal racial hatred he's harbored since boyhood when he witnessed his father's violent death at the hands of a black man. Camilla is a native of New Orleans, a restorer of historic buildings, just finding out that her great-grandfather was a black man and pondering whether she should tell her race-obsessed fiance. Complicating the picture is Camilla's former lover, Cush Walker, a brilliant black doctor and the head of a research group that has devised a test called BIAS, which is about to be adopted by the NYPD to measure racial animosity among its force. Cush and Nat are natural enemies, though both are scarred by memories of witnessing their fathers' murders. Nat's integrity is challenged when he gets a chance--and takes it--to sabotage the BIAS program to avenge his father's murder. His second thoughts come too late to stop the hired avenger, but his father's killer manages to turn things around, brutally killing the man sent to kill him and turning his attention to Nat. When Camilla is accidentally shot by the stalker and rendered comatose, Nat struggles with guilt at having endangered her life and jealousy at delivering her into the capable hands of Dr. Cush Walker. While Cush tries to save Camilla's life, Nat is relentlessly tracked by a sadistic killer. This is an action-filled novel, moving between rural Hardy, Mississippi, and fast-paced New York, with fascinating characters and racial themes as well as scientific tinkering with the human brain and emotions. (Reviewed December 1, 1999)0525945415Vanessa Bush


Publisher's Weekly Review

Ending a five-year hiatus after his bestselling debut (The Fourth Procedure), Pottinger proves he is a master of the art of the medical thriller and a formidable voice in examining American race relations. Here, he examines racial tensions in a plot that includes a vast web of biotechnical dangers and political corruption. New York police detective Nat Hennessy is coerced by his boss to exploit the trust of his fianc‚e, architectural restorer Camilla Dissonette, the beautiful granddaughter of an aristocratic New Orleans family. It's part of a conspiracy to discredit Dr. Cush Walker, a brilliant and controversial African-American neurosurgeon short-listed for a Nobel in medicine. Walker, who also happens to be Dissonette's ex-boyfriend, invented a breakthrough brain-scanning technique for detecting the predisposition for racial bias. This advanced polygraph-type analysis, called the BIAS test, threatens the careers of many cops, including Hennessy. Other effects of Walker's work involve the development of technology to restore damaged brains and transplant personalities, used in the hopes of eradicating the legacy of racial bigotry. Peopled with quixotic characters who enrich the mosaic of revenge, murder and intrigue, the action bounces around like machine-gun fire in a dark alley, while Pottinger makes pseudo-technobabble somehow sound simple. Though one must forgive the occasional clich‚d lapse in the romantic scenes and minor side trips to smell the roses (and garbage), this kaleidoscopic thriller is marvelously complex, charged with emotional impact and resounding ethical questions. (Feb.) FYI: Pottinger served in civil rights positions in both the Department of Justice and the former Department of Health, Education and Welfare. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In his newest thriller, Pottinger tries very hard to cover all the bases. His convoluted plot encompasses a mind-meld between a scientist and a cop, an interracial romance, a beautiful steeplejack in a coma, and a years-old feud. What will the author do for an encore? The novel veers between a medical-techno thriller (in a particularly far-fetched premise) and a police procedural. Unfortunately, Pottinger can't decide which story line to follow. Although Nat Hennessey and his new partner have some interesting scenes, the characters are not particularly realistic, and heroine Camilla's good looks and interesting profession are not enough to give her depth. It is never made clear which of the male protagonists is the hero, and by the end of the book, the reader doesn't care. Not recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/99.]--Lesley C. Keogh, Bethel P.L., CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.