After the carnage of World War Two, a murder in the desert of New Mexico seems barely significant. The result of a drunken brawl, perhaps. Or a crime of passion. Even a simple robbery gone too far. Not important in the year that will see the end of the devastating global conflict.
But for the people ‘on the hill’ at Los Alamos, the unsolved killing of Karl Bruner is a catastrophe. For Karl shouldered some of the responsibility for the security of their ‘project’, was privy to information about the ‘gadget’. So if his murder had anything to do with his work, then it could mean that the best-kept secret in history has been leaked. For the project is the Manhattan Project, and the gadget is the Atom Bomb.
Michael Connolly is sent to Los Alamos to investigate the death. A civilian and an ex-reporter, he is renowned for sniffing out a story - and for being discreet. But in a community that doesn’t officially exist, discretion and secrecy are second nature to everyone. Secrets abound and the scientists, their wives and the soldiers are being watched - as are the watchers themselves. For Connolly, it means stepping into a twilight world where reality - and morality - has become distorted, where breaking the frontiers of science is more important than finding the truth. He knew the investigation would be dangerous, but he didn’t know that the Cold War had already started, and that he will develop a secret, passionate life with another man’s wife.