It's 1976. Despite fierce international controversy over whether
in vitro fertilization should ever be performed in humans, doctors
around the world race to be first to produce a baby by this
procedure. Dr. Colin Sanford, a brilliant, ambitious obstetrician
in the Pacific Northwest city of Hyetopolis, has a plan. He
recruits Dr. Giselle Hearn, an experienced laboratory
geneticist-embryologist at the University who's frustrated by the
ultra-conservative policies of her department chairman. Drs.
Sanford and Hearn, working secretly, set out to put their names in
history books. Unfortunately, a secret that big is hard to keep,
and Alma Wanego, Dr. Hearn's lab supervisor, catches on and demands
a blackmail payment. Several months later, Dr. Sanford's patient,
Joyce Kennett, gives birth to a healthy boy, and Sanford prepares
to make an announcement at a press conference. But before that can
come about, Ms. Kennett's marginally-schizophrenic husband kills
Dr. Hearn and then himself. Police Detective Bernie Baumgartner's
investigation is hampered by pressure from influential people at
the University who want to control sensationalism that might harm
the institution. The Chief of Police suggests the case be closed as
the work of a mentally-unstable man who may have forgotten to take
his medication. But dogged, tenacious Baumgartner suspects that
Sanford and Hearn were in fact doing IVF, that they succeeded with
the Kennetts, and that murder, suicide, and other crimes were the
fallout. A double cat-and-mouse game develops between doctor and
detective, and as stakes escalate, truth becomes an
increasingly-evasive commodity. "A Perilous Conception "begins a
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