Newly divorced surgeon Dr. Kim Regis is determined to remain a good father to his only son, Selden. On a special night out, Kim takes Seldon to his favorite fast-food restaurant for a feast of burgers and fries. But the good time turns to tragedy: the young boy becomes gravely ill and dies as a result of poisoning by E. coli. bacteria found in the meat. Was Seldon's death a result of shoddy food-handling practices? Or was it a sophisticated case of product tampering - by a rival fast-foot giant or a disgruntled employee? Or perhaps by someone with a score to settle with Kim? Taking a leave from his surgical practice, Kim devotes his energies to solving the mystery full time. But he immediately hits a brick walls: a code of silence more impenetrable than anything he has ever encountered in his medical career. Instead of a cold-shoulder reception, however, Kim is soon met with a boot and a fist as thugs attempt to quash his inquiry. Aided by his ex-wife, Kim pursues a trail of deadly evidence, uncovering complicity and guilt stretching from the slaughterhouse floor to the corporate boardroom. Racing against time before more are poisoned, the two come face-to-face with the shocking and elusive truth. And in their life-and-death search for answers, they rediscover the reasons they first fell in love. With trademark pulse-pounding flair, Robin Cook delivers a cutting-edge thriller, borrowing from today's fears and tomorrow's medical technology.