Dr. Paul Gordon is a well-respected neurosurgeon at Oakland Metropolitan Hospital. A cluster of unexpected deaths occurs in postoperative patients, forcing Gordon to pursue the solution to the mystery. The plot twists through the wards and operating rooms of the busy hospital, across the East Bay hills, and even to Agra, India. The novel explores how patients cope with severe neurological illnesses. There are interwoven stories about the treatment of patients who suffer from cancer, trauma, and intracranial hemorrhage. Secondary characters include a priest with a malignant brain tumor that affects his speech, a baseball scout for the San Francisco Giants with metastatic spinal cancer that causes paralysis, and an airline pilot with a benign tumor that alters his personality. A running theme throughout the novel is Gordon's cross-cultural relationship with his Indian born wife, Aruna.