Children's book illustrator Calista Jacobs (last seen in Trace Elements ) and her teenage son Charley are back in a new mystery featuring fundamentalist extremists, archeology and computer-enhanced genetic research. Calista and two of her colleagues are verbally attacked--called "immoral" influences--at a children's literature conference in Boston. Then one of them is murdered, and both Calista and the other author receive threats. Charley's computer internship at an MIT research lab inadvertently dovetails into the murder, and when the police prove unhelpful, mother and son launch their own investigation, including a covert visit to the Bible college of a popular creationist preacher. As the scientific elements of the case become too complex for even brainy Charley to unravel, archeologist Archie Baldwin is brought in to help. Some aspects of the tale skirt credibility; police involvement in the case is minimal, and there seems no end to Calista's knowledge. Knight tends to drift too far from her narrative in interpolating details of Calista's craft, sometimes static blocks of technical explanation. Otherwise, the story is lively and the mother/son relationship appealing.
Original title: Mortal Words
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives