The fourth entry in this “compelling, passionate, and gritty” (Daily Mail, UK) series by internationally acclaimed bestselling author Colleen McCullough sends Carmine Delmonico on a heart-pounding ride through the world of toxic substances and brilliant biochemists to pursue a mysterious killer on the loose.
When Chubb University biochemist Millie Hunter notices that a deadly neurotoxin is missing from her laboratory refrigerator, she knows the situation is grave: the poison, extracted from a blowfish, shuts down the nervous system, leading to a slow, gruesome, and virtually unstoppable death.
The very next night, Millie and her husband, another exceptional biochemist, attend a black tie dinner for an old friend, John Hall. John’s stepmother, an exotic former Yugoslavian model, has assembled some of the most important—and eccentric—people from Chubb University for a lavish dinner. Notably missing is John’s Aunt Emily, who holds an old family grudge. After dinner, the men retire for cigars and whiskey, and John suddenly falls to the floor and dies a horrible death. The cause: a dose of the missing neurotoxin, administered through a tiny puncture wound in his neck.
As the bodies pile up and the coroner keeps pointing to the neurotoxin, Captain Carmine Delmonico must find the killer fast. Assisted by his brilliant colleague Delia and his constant wife Desdemona (an excellent cook), Delmonico follows the trail—no matter how close to home it may lead.
Colleen McCullough, a native of Australia, established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney before working as a researcher at Yale Medical School for ten years. She is the bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Thorn Birds, and lives with her husband on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific.