The Prodigal Son: A Carmine Delmonico Novel

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HarperCollinsPublishers, 2012 - Australian fiction - 392 pages
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Holloman, Connecticut, 1969. A very rare and lethal toxin, extracted from the blowfish, is stolen from a laboratory at Chubb University. It kills within minutes and leaves no trace behind -- unless a doctor knows what to look for -- and worried biochemist Dr. Millie Hunter reports the theft at once to her father, Medical Examiner Dr. Patrick O′Donnell. Patrick′s cousin Captain Carmine Delmonico is therefore quick off the mark when the bodies start to mount up. A sudden death at a dinner party followed by another at a gala black-tie event seem at first to be linked only by the poison and Dr. Jim Hunter, a scientist on the brink of greatness and husband to Millie. A black man married to a white woman, Dr. Jim has faced scandal and prejudice for most of his life, so what would cause him to risk it all now? Is he being framed for murder -- and if so, by whom? Carmine and his team of detectives must navigate the competitive world of academic publishing, fraught with politics and prestige. The stakes are high: an amazing art collection, a large inheritance, old and upstanding local families, a gold-digging wife, jealous relatives and a young couple′s future.

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About the author (2012)

Colleen McCullough was born on June 1, 1937 in Wellington, New South Wales, Australia. She attended Holy Cross College and the University of Sydney. She wanted to pursue a career in medicine but had an allergic reaction to the antiseptic soap that surgeons use to scrub. She decided to study neuroscience and established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney before working as a researcher and teacher at Yale Medical School for ten years. Her first novel, Tim, was published in 1974 and was adapted into a movie starring Mel Gibson. During her lifetime, she wrote 25 novels including The Thorn Birds, An Indecent Obsession, A Creed for the Third Millennium, The Ladies of Missalonghi, the Masters of Rome series, and Bittersweet. The Thorn Birds was adapted into a U.S. television mini-series in 1983, which won four Golden Globe awards. She died after a long illness on January 29, 2015 at the age of 77.

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