Once again Adam McCleet finds himself neck deep in trouble thanks to his sister Margot. When Nobel Heights, a wealthy Portland suburb, plans to erect a veterans memorial, Margot decides that Adam should be the artist. Adam has reservations, but his old buddy Dr. Reeves Washington, Chief of Staff at the Mount Prairie Institute, urges him to accept. To add to Adam's complicated life, Alison Brooks, the love of his life, starts talking about commitment.
Events take a deadly turn when Reeves is murdered by a berserk patient. Adam, a witness to the killing, suspects foul play. The patient should not have been on any medication, but Reeves' last words imply the man was wired. The killing rage that engulfed the patient is eerily similar to an episode suffered by Alison's brother Eric, a Desert Storm vet and outpatient at the hospital, and Adam and Alison begin to fear patients are being used as guinea pigs for new drug therapies. When their prime suspect, Dr. Grimhauer, is murdered, the details of this case gets even murkier.
With the help of a wacky trio of patients, a baton twirling cheerleader and his neighbor's dog, Adam looks for answers. He may find them, provided he manages to stay alive long enough.
Rick Hanson is an exceptional new talent who excels at intriguing stories that are as hilarious as they are suspenseful. The characters that inhabit Adam McCleet's world are wonderfully drawn and highly entertaining. Readers are guaranteed a wild ride that will have them laughing and gasping at the same time.(June, 224 pp., $4.99)