The Bingham Foundation is a corporation that assesses the grant applications of scientific researchers. Samuel Todd is the corporation's field investigator, tasked with finding out all he can about Gordon Telford Thorndecker, Nobel Prize-winning doctor and resident darling of Coburn, New York. The good doctor Thorndecker is the head of a combined research facility and rest home for the elderly, affluent, and infirm in Coburn, and has recently applied for a million-dollar research grant.
Dr. Thorndecker has impeccable scientific credentials; his project - to investigate the "cellular clock" that controls the normal life span of human beings - seems entirely credible and worthy of support; and despite the rumors and occasional rabid gossip-monger - the whole town of Coburn is rooting for its most famous resident.
Samuel Todd's mission is basically to get background information about the eminent Dr. Thorndecker. Deep background information: Samuel has to "assess the intangibles, things known only to the applicant's priest, psychiatrist and/or mistress. As a suspicious romantic, Samuel is too young to have seen it all, but too old to expect the best of this world.
But is it possible that his suspicions are getting the better of him? It's perhaps in the way the residents of Coburn stare past his shoulder while praising Dr. Thorndecker to the skies; or what he learns about the doctor's seductive young wife, Julie, and her not-so-secretive activities; or perhaps when he discovers that a patient at the rest home was buried rather suddenly in the dead of night, deceased, according to the death certificate, of simple heart failure. Whatever the cause, Samuel Todd is already mightily suspicious of this case, and his feelings only grow worse after he arrives at his hotel on a stormy night, and discovers a typed two-lined message waiting for him at the desk. The note is short, cryptic, and straight to the point: "Thorndecker Kills."
I really enjoyed this book and must say that I found it to be very indicative of Lawrence Sanders' work - incredibly suspenseful and quite dramatic. Mr. Sanders is perhaps one of my many favorite authors, and I have read quite a few of his books, although the first book from the Commandment Series that I've read. I would certainly give The Sixth Commandment by Lawrence Sanders a very strong A!