This was a fascinating book that talks about the early practices at medical schools and current political cover ups when those practices are brought to light. In the 1999 portion of the story, Jacob Thacker is working PR for his medical school as he serves out a suspension for drug abuse when bones are discovered in the basement. The bones of those of primarily black people who were used for teaching of the medical students in the pre and post Civil War era. Their existence is a PR nightmare for the Dean of the school for whom the school's untarnished image is paramount. The second part of the story tells the story of the early days of the medical school and the black man named Nemo Johnston who was purchased to be the school's janitor, butler, and resurrectionist. He was charged with raiding the black cemeteries to supply the cadavers the medical students needed to learn anatomy and surgery. His portion of the story gives great insight into what it was like for a black slave in that time period. Nemo was atypical in that he was educated and knowledgeable. He even taught the anatomy classes but still did all the menial work too. Jacob learns a lot, even about his own family, when he begins to research the history of the school. He has lots of pressure on him to do the cover up. In fact, his future in medicine depends on it. This parallels the pressure put on Nemo Johnston in earlier times. The story was well-written and engaging and it was in interesting look at a time with attitudes much different than now.