By 2030 the Moralist Party rules supreme in the United States after decades of showing the hypocrisies of the two former major political parties and pushing Christian principals in support of life. Death is outlawed as machines keep people alive regardless of the illness or injury. In Des Moines, Dr. Patricia Jewett deals with the end of death as a medical practitioner at the Chronic Care Facility of the C. Everett Koop Memorial Hospital.
Patricia somewhat stays detached until her mentor Dr. Shobert arrives paralyzed and apparently brain dead from a vehicle accident. Machines keep him alive. When Shobert convulses, Patricia wants to observe the symptoms, but Nurse Krystal Fantalla forces a confrontation. The next day Patricia finds Krystal dead in Shobert's room. Homicide Detective David Scott investigates, but wants to date Patricia and mostly needs to keep her safe as someone with plenty of power wants her and her comatose patient dead.
This is an exhilarating futuristic science fiction police procedural. The story is at its best when the Moralistic Party's posturing are viewed and when hints of the past like naming the hospital for Dr. Koop or even the use of Morse Code gives a decades in the future feel to the tale. The mystery is fun to follow as is the relationships between Patricia and her surgeon boyfriend SOB Kaign and a kind David though the contrast between the two males is too extreme. The who-done-it is a delight and how the conspiracy is solved is clever to observe. Readers will appreciate Mickey Zucker Reichert's skills to make the future seem now.