In Clifford's novel, which vividly illustrates the conflicts and moral complexities of medical research, cardiologist Paul Bergman, in the late 1980s, enters the teaching program run by a demanding but famous professor, Leo Miller. When Miller—who served time in Japanese prisoner of war camps during WWII—declines to accept a prestigious award from the Japanese Medical Society, his university is incensed and embarrassed, and loses the accompanying grant. A parallel conflict occurs when Bergman learns that hotshot but arrogant researcher Eric Sanderson has committed research fraud. The ensuing complications engage the reader in a wealth of moral dilemmas, as demanding university administrators, a publicity-seeking congressman, government investigators, and a student association become involved. Clifford's ingenious balancing of competing moral imperatives more than makes up for his somewhat unconvincing characterization, and the result is a thought-provoking read.