Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
In Blanchard's (The Breathtaker) gripping but flawed novel, Daisy Hubbard works as a neurogenetics specialist, finding cures for fatal congenital brain disorders under the auspices of renowned Professor Truett at the country's top lab in Boston. Just as Daisy wins FDA approval for clinical trials on the cure for Stier-Zellar's disease, her schizophrenic sister Anna disappears. For the sake of her aging mother, Daisy goes to California to search for Anna with detective (soon to be lover) Jack Makowski. They uncover a series of murders linked to Anna's lover, Roy Hildreth, who confesses and fools them into thinking he's taking them to Anna's grave before escaping. Although the story unfolds in exciting sequences, implausible twists mar an otherwise good read. It's hard to believe that an ice-cold serial killer murders carriers of Stier-Zellar's disease because his daughter died of the illness and he wants to prevent its spreading or get even with it. Recommended with reservations for suspense collections.-Michelle Foyt, Russell Lib., Middletown, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Blanchard (The Breathtaker) again proves how research enriches detective fiction in this engrossing novel about a Boston scientist on the trail of a psychopath. Neurogeneticist Daisy Hubbard has a personal interest in her research on gene therapy for brain disorders: her brother died of Stier-Zellar's disease; her mother suffers from diabetes and depression, her sister, Anna, from schizophrenia. When Anna vanishes, handsome LAPD Det. Jack Makowski persuades Daisy to come to De Campo Beach, the Pacific coast town where Anna was last seen, with news that the disappearance may be linked to a serial killer as well as Daisy's research. Joining forces, Jack and Daisy find themselves suspicious about the behavior of Anna's associates, Anna's mom and even Anna herself, while Daisy deals with childhood memories, concerns about her research and research supervisor, encounters with a manipulative killer and a growing romance with thrice-married Jack. Blanchard contrasts snowy New England memories with sunny California landscapes, intimate tenderness with violent obsession. Carefully plotted, the novel reveals much of the author's hand racing to the conclusion, but by then the reader is too enrapt to protest, captivated by Blanchard's lucid descriptions, compelling takes on the challenges and heartache of degenerative disease, schizophrenia and abuse, action-packed drama and believable, believably conflicted, characters. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Kirkus Book Review
In what could be Blanchard's breakout, a man strives to end a deadly disease by murdering all who carry it. Heartbreaking, invariably fatal, Stier-Zellar's attacks the young, and Daisy Hubbard has lost a six-year-old brother to the disease, which goes a long way toward explaining her choice of career. Daisy, a genetic researcher, is convinced that one day her work will earn her, among other prizes, the Nobel, as well as the self-validation that comes with eliminating a merciless child-killer. So Daisy's a brain, and it's entirely possible her sister Anna, three years younger, might be recognized as one, too, if she weren't so flaky. Anna creates uproar--that's her history. Among other stunts, she vanishes from time to time. Burrowed down, then, in her exhaustively demanding Boston lab, Daisy is not eager to drop everything and take off to California to search for Anna. But she goes anyway, persuaded by her mother that this disappearance signals something truly ominous. Her mother's right. Turns out that Anna is one of three De Campo Beach residents to go missing, and LAPD detective Jack Makowsky has begun to think it might be the work of a serial killer. Nice guy that he is--and smitten besides--he tries to hide that from Daisy, but he can't. By this time, Roy Gaines--smart, manipulative, hopelessly demented, a kind of minor-league Hannibal Lector--has entered the picture. Slowly, the shaken Daisy begins to understand what might have happened to her sister. What she has yet to comprehend is the secret she shares with a remorseless sociopath. Blanchard (The Breathtaker, 2003, etc.) is just a bit long-winded in two or three scenes, but his characters are exceptionally strong and his plotting is sure-footed. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.