Young doctor Gina Panzella has known her boss, plastic surgeon Dr. Duncan Lathram, almost her entire life, and respects him deeply. Charming and brilliant, Duncan has invented a dissolving implant that allows incisions to heal without scarring. Duncan's artistry in the operation room is the salvationof Washington's biggest power players whenever they need touch-ups for C-Span. But there are a few things about Duncan that Gina can't quite figure out. Why did he trade vascular surgery for the more profitable but less vital plastic surgery, and why won't he accept his patients' medical insurance? What caused his daughter's death and the breakup of his marriage? Why do his tirades agains the new congressional medical ethics committee have such a bitter personal sting? And what is his connection to two committee members who died in accidents not long after Duncan operated on them? Soon Gina's curiosity about Duncanis replaced by suspicion and fear. With the help of Gerry Canney, a high school classmate now working for the FBI, Gina determines to find out what ruined Duncan's personal life and aroused his wrath against the congressmen. She find a man much more complex and mysterious than the sharp-tongued but kindhearted physician she though she knew. Then two more congressmen fall ill after Duncan's surgery. And Gina discovers another kind of implant in Duncan's arsenal. . . .