“Intriguing … A nice step up.” -Kirkus
“Mr. Cluster has written another page-turner … as stethoscopes hang, so does the reader.” -New Mystery Reader
WHEN YOU LOSE WHAT MAKES YOU WHO YOU ARE…
“Your bone-marrow,” thinks Alex Glauberman at the outset of this intricate, fast-moving medical thriller, “is the place you store the stuff that makes you who you are.” He is feeling queasy about the prospect of anyone living temporarily without it. This “anyone” is not him, not yet, but after a successful first bout with a lymphoma that he expects to come back, someday, for a rematch, he wants to know more about marrow transplant treatments, so he is pleased to be summoned for a consult by Dr. Jay Harrison, a pioneer in the field. What Harrison wants, though, is to hire to Alex as an investigator in something much less scientific — a blackmail letter that the doctor cannot understand.
It purports to be from someone in his past, someone Harrison remembers well. They met long ago, in the early 1970s, when Harrison was hitchhiking from a Vietnam War protest and Foster was an anti-war army deserter just returned from exile in France. They had shared some politics, some travel, and a little hashish, but what was any of that to threaten Harrison’s position now?
Something is going on here, Alex tells himself, trying to mentally spread these disparate parts out before him just as he would in his day job of fixing Northern European cars. Some other shoe, his marrow tells him, is going to drop. Drop it does, and marrow is what it’s about: Linda Dumars, one of Harrison’s transplant patients is due to have her own marrow reinfused now that her days of intense treatment are over, but the marrow’s been stolen.
A ransom note soon arrives and the clock ticks: each day without her marrow reduces Linda’s chances of survival.
Who will like it: Medical thriller fans, as well as devotees of Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, and Tess Gerritsen, but also anyone who loves a traditional mystery starring an easygoing amateur detective. It will particularly appeal to fans of Jewish detectives like Rabbi Small, Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus, Rebecca Schwartz, Jake Samson—even Moses Wine (without the wisecracks); and those who love vintage male sleuths like Ellery Queen, Gideon Oliver, Tubby Dubonnet, Stanley Hastings, and almost all British detectives–the ones who’re not too cozy, yet not too hard-boiled. How do we know? Because Alex is one of those dependable detectives all too rare in crime fiction—a private investigator you actually like to be with. Not too smart-mouthed, not too close-mouthed, just…kind of a mensch.