A veterinarian in Lousiana, Lorna Polk, is brought in by the U.S. Border Patrol to investigate a shipwreck off the coast, which is filled with some truly weird animals. There are conjoined monkeys, pythons with small legs and a sabertoothed tiger. Are these part of a black market smuggling ring? And is someone doing genetic experiments? The one thing these creatures all have in common is a high intelligence--and this seems to psychically connect them to each other.
Dr. Polk is teamed up with Agent Jack Menard, with whom she has a shared history with--she had dated one of his brothers and it ended tragically. Together they try to find out the truth of what is happening, which leads them to a remote tropical island where they've been experimenting with humans. A side-effect of making man more intelligent is the same thing that happened with the animals--it makes them have an earlier form. So there are all these ape-like Australopithicenes running about the island.
Although there are some cool ideas in this novel, I found it to be the least of all the James Rollins books I've read. It's too "cookie cutter" compared to AMAZONIA or SUBTERRANEAN. It seemed like someone trying to write like James Rollins and not quite being up to par. Eh.