Pocket, August 2004, 7.99, 400 pp.
Paige Thorndyke is supposed to meet her friend at a bar but she never shows up. Instead, she meets a handsome stranger and after uncharacteristically taking a few drinks, she goes to a hotel with him. After having sex with him, she becomes very ill; she is rushed to the hospital where she dies. An autopsy shows that she was suffering from an acute form of scurvy unheard of in modern in America; to add to the mystery, witnesses at the club tell investigators she was energetic dancing up a storm.
Dr. Terri Barnard, the doctor who was going to treat Paige, is going home when the police pull her over. Kristen Martin is very ill and dies before Terri can give her any treatment. An autopsy shows that she was suffering from beriberi, another vitamin deficiency disease. The man who had sex with Paige also had sex with Kristen Martin. A phony BCI Investigator questions her, but when a third woman dies in a similar manner after being seen with the same man, Terri realizes she knows enough to conclude that her life is in danger.
The story is told from the points of view of the heroine and the antagonist so that readers can see the juxtaposition between the caring doctor and the socially detached man who does not even know his own name.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner