In Hosp's lackluster second novel (after 2005's Dark Harbor), Darius Train and Jack Cassian, a mismatched pair of D.C. detectives, investigate the throat-slashing murder of Washington Post reporter Elizabeth Creay. The fortuitous crime-scene find of a cigarette lighter with a clear fingerprint leads the detectives to local drug dealer Jerome Washington. It's a tidy but far too convenient arrest. The commissioner of police is upset when Train and Cassian move on to a number of other suspects, some of them highly placed among the city's powerful ruling class. The heart of the murder may lie in the history of the American eugenics movement, "the science of controlling the gene pool?improving it, in theory?through selective breeding." The uncovering of long-buried secret experiments at the Virginia Juvenile Institute for the Mentally Defective, a state facility where thousands of people were once sterilized, results in more murders. The denouement is so murky that baffled readers will find themselves scratching their heads in dismay.