The Boston Globe, A Best Book of the Summer
The Millions, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year
Kirkus Reviews, A Best Book Club Fiction Book of the Year
Kenny Bomar is a biochemistturned-coffee-shop-owner in denial about his divorce and grieving his stillborn daughter. Chemicals killed their child, leaching from a type of plant the government is hiding in Black neighborhoods. Kenny's coping mechanisms are likewise chemical and becoming more baroque - from daily injections of lethal snake venom to manufacturing designer drugs. Black epidemiologists Retta and Ebonee are called to the scene when a mysterious black substance is found to have killed a high school girl. Investigating sends the women down separate paths of blame and retribution as two seemingly disparate narratives converge in a cinematic conclusion.