As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments and MIT, and Harvard, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that vcould shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally. A young man drops dead, apparently from a cardiac arrhytmia, eerily close to Scarpetta's new Cambridge home, but when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alicve when he was zipped inside a pounch and locked inide the Center's cooler. When 3-D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen - ones that suggest the possibility of a conspiracy to cause mass casualties - she realizes that she is fighting a cunning, cruel, and invisible enemy. Now it is a race against time to discover who and why before more people die. But that time is running out...