Michael Palmer’s 17th novel is a medical/political thriller that introduces Dr. Lou Welcome. Lou is a 42-year-old ER doc in Washington D.C., who lost his medical license for an alcohol and drug addiction and, subsequently, lost his marriage as well. After five sober years, Lou is hired as a part time case-worker for the D.C. Physician Wellness Office (PWO), monitoring docs with mental illness. He advocates for his favorite client, Dr. John Meacham, to return to practice, only to have Meacham blow up at a patient and murder five people before shooting himself. Lou’s efforts to help Meacham are hindered by a series of unexplainable mistakes and bizarre behaviors in Meacham’s community.
First Lady Dr. Darlene Mallory is a pediatrician and wife of 2-year president Martin Mallory. She is trying to help her friend Russ Evans, who resigned as Secretary of Agriculture after an indiscretion in a motel with an underage woman. Evans claims to have been set up and Darlene believes him. She is contacted by a mysterious man who claims to have proof of Evans’ innocence and that Evans was forced out of office because of his policies against genetically modified food. Against her husband’s wishes, she sets out to clear Evans’ name.
Darlene’s efforts bring her together with Lou, who has become convinced that people are being adversely affected by the rapidly growing corn being produced and harvested by a huge, powerful corporation. Their feelings for one another intensify as they race against the clock, trying to stop a massive shipment of the genetically modified corn bound for worldwide distribution.