Death didn't shock her, but it appalled her, and she knew it always would: the waste of it, the violence and the cruelty of it. But she lived with it too much to be shocked, even by this. They died with smiles on their faces. Three apparent suicides: a brilliant engineer, an infamous lawyer, and a controversial politician. Three strangers with nothing in common - and no obvious reasons for killing themselves. But police lieutenant Eve Dallas is immediately suspicious of the deaths. And her instincts pay off when autopsies revealed small burn marks on the brains of the victims. Is this a genetic abnormality or a high-tech method of murder? Eve's investigation turns to the provocative world of virtual reality games - where the same techniques used to create joy and desire can also prompt the mind to become the weapon of its own destruction.