Someone is killing off the world's most gifted neurosurgeons, and Alex Bishop, a renegade CIA agent, thinks he knows who it is. Bishop is out to settle his score with Claude Malloche, an international assassin responsible for the death of Bishop's brother. When he learns that Malloche is afflicted with an inoperable brain tumor, Bishop understands why the murdered neurosurgeons died, and where Malloche will strike next. Meanwhile, Jessie Copeland, an MIT-trained mechanical engineer and neurosurgeon, is working to perfect a robotic device that will revolutionize brain surgery. One of the patients awaiting surgery at Boston's Eastern Massachusetts Medical Center is Malloche--but which one? No one has ever been able to identify the assassin, and Jessie is hardly well known enough to attract his notice. But ARTIE, the robotic device, is--and Malloche will stop at nothing to ensure that it's used to save his own life. He threatens to release a deadly nerve toxin on thousands of innocent people, and Jessie is forced to save him at the cost of her own safety.