Retired Army captain Dutch Flowers is a disgraced Gulf War hero hired to investigate a murder in a secret science facility. The catch is that the victim -- and the presumed murderer -- are both genetically altered chimps gone haywire. Pryor's debut novel weaves a preop transsexual assassin, a plot to kill Saddam Hussein, and those half-human apes into a woolly tale of sci-fi weirdness and postwar paranoia. While the story has no trouble holding your interest, Pryor gums up the works by trying too hard to pull in left-field allusions like this one: ''The bottle of 101-proof Wild Turkey...was empty but for the sacramental vapors lingering inside of it like a tapped-out genie.'' What hath Vonnegut wrought?