Straightforward style and linear story-telling that will appeal to many men but probably fewer women. Detective John Corey is a character very much along the lines of those created by David Hosp or John Grisham -- damaged, undisciplined, rambunctious; he's hell-bent on finding whoever killed his two friends and doesn't bother playing by the rules. DeMille has scaled back Corey's "wise-guy" patter that became tiresome in "The Lion", so I'm giving this book an extra half star for that. The rural, seaside Long Island setting provides atmosphere and helps to balance the ugliness of the murders and the unhelpful presence of CIA operatives with their own agenda -- not to mention the menace of virulent pathogens at a secretive research facility. DeMille's notable shortcoming is that his female characters are very attractively presented at the outset but he make little effort to flesh them out as really interesting people as David Hosp does. In this genre, I still like Hosp better.