Like a lot of other reviewers, I eagerly anticipated reading another Kay Scarpetta story-- the character has received its share of recognition-- but unfortunately, as others have mentioned, Cornwell's ability to spin an entertaining tale has fallen off the tracks lately. This novel deals with issues of nanotechnology, "bots", and similar cutting edge miniaturization that Cornwell accurately picks up as being as much a possible danger to humanity as a bonus. But... I suspect her concern over such areas of dicovery drove the novel more than a plot did. The characters are as before... Marino, Lucy, Benton, but the personalities she has developed for them are starting to be more annoying than usefully descriptive. No one talks to anyone... secrets are kept, even from husband and wife about the smallest of things, questions they ask each other are rudely not answered, and seldom pursued. The reader wants to yell, "Talk to each other! Stop going around in circles!" With Kay overtired, confused, assaulted by events, her queries ignored, the reader gets a feeling of claustrophobia that continues through the book to the last pages. Rather than creating a useful situation, it causes the reader to struggle through the book, identifying only with Kay in the need to have coffee or fall asleep. The only "action" in the book is over with in a couple of paragraphs. It's a struggle that at the end is, I would have to (unfortunately) say: not worth it.