There are two things going on in this novel: the original plot line of Jack investigating an untimely death caused by chiropractic cervical manipulation (producing VAD) and his subsequent out of control behavior when confronting the issue and trying to educate a sanguine group of consumers who spoke of alternative medicine in glowing terms despite his trying to tell them that it was not science and that it was dangerous. The other plot was about a couple, one an archeologist and old friend of Jack's named Shawn, and the other a DNA scientist, who buy a codex while at a conference in Egpyt and steal an ossuary that purportedly contains the bones of Mary, Mother of God from St. Peter's Tomb in Rome. If this wasn't enough, we learn that Jack and Laurie have a newborn afflicted with severe neuroblastoma.
The entire story was running parallel for a short time and then Jack dropped his obsession with the investigation of alternative medicine and attached himself to the couple who was examining the bones and the codex in labs provided by Jack's superiors in the medical pathology/examiner's building in New York. Once back in the USA, the couple gets far enough along in their work to make an amazing discovery.Unfortunately, a third friend of theirs -- conveniently the Archbishop of New York and a Cardinal named James, is upset about Shawn and his wife possibly revealing that Mary wasn't assumed into heaven after all and thus demonstrating that papal ex cathedra decree is infallible after all! In a panic, James hires a zealot to try to talk Shawn and his wife, Sana, into keeping their discovery a secret and not publishing the story.
For awhile I was really liking this book. Wondering why there were so many negative reviews. Well, the last 25 pages showed me why.
Oh my gosh, what a horrible ending and what a cheap way to end a book. I was very disappointed.
Don't buy this one. I don't know why Robin Cook doesn't write straight forward medical thrillers anymore. It saddens me since it is my favorite genre.