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Protected with a removable Brodart cover. White boards with turqoise spine imprinted in white with title and author. Turquoise endpapers. Stated First Printing: December 2004 with full number line 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. . 1.4 x 9.1 x 6.4 Inches. 384 pages. A missing canister of a deadly virus. A lab technician bleeding from the eyes. Toni Gallo, the security director of a Scottish medical research firm, knows she has problems, but she has no idea of the nightmare to come. As a Christmas Eve blizzard whips out of the north, several people converge on a remote family house. Stanley Oxenford, the research company's director, has everything riding on the drug he is developing to fight the virus - but he isn't the only one: His grown children, who have come to spend Christmas, have their eyes on the money it will bring; Toni Gallo, forced to resign from the police department in disgrace, is betting her career on keeping the drug safe; a local television reporter, determined to move up, has sniffed the story, even if he has to bend the facts to tell it; and a violent trio of thugs is on its way to steal it for a client already waiting - though what the client really has in mind is something that will shock them all. As the storm worsens, the emotional sparks - jealousies, distrust, sexual attraction, rivalries - crackle; desperate secrets are revealed; hidden traitors and unexpected heroes emerge.