This is a detective thriller with a complex plot that held my attention through to the last paragraph. It contains an exploration into the science of brainwashing and raises the issue of whether motion picture media can affect human behavior in radical ways. The story starts with the implication that a particular short film causes people to suffer physical and psychological ailments. What rescues this from becoming a kind of a hackneyed and over argued object lesson in the evils of modern media (YouTube, video games, etc.) is the origin of the video in question. The film is on a seven decades old movie reel, the kind viewed with an ancient reel to reel movie projector. The content of the short flick, if somewhat bizarre, hardly seems objectionable at first glance. But the first person to view the film in the book is struck blind and subsequently others are left feeling inexplicably uncomfortable and distressed after they view the reel. In addition, anyone expressing an interest in the film ends up dead, usually by violent means. All this, along with a couple other clever plot twists, served to keep me wondering about all aspects of the short film, its content, it origin, the extent of its dissemination (as bodies pile up further and further from the initial local of the reel in the story). Thilliez does a good job of incorporating explanations of relevant science and medicine into the story in a way that makes those sections quite fascinating and educational. The characters are well fleshed out and the two main characters, the investigators in this detective novel, are mundanely but likably broken and mesh well as they come at the investigation from different directions. The book takes the reader on a journey that starts in Europe, doglegs through the Middle East, and hops across North America. This international mystery was a fun listen (on Audible) for me and I found it gripping, the way the author setup and maintained the suspense and continually fed my curiosity over the science and mechanics of the killings.