A crusading doctor in Africa’s desperate refugee camps watches helplessly as thousands die despite her best efforts. An Atlanta news anchor reports passionately on news of a tsunami in Indonesia. A young Mexican man wades across a flooded arroyo, drawing ever nearer the U.S. border. And, in the Middle East, hundreds of new Muslim zealots board flights that will take them to far-flung cities around the globe.
These are the players in the new blockbuster thriller by dhtreichler. Sinister forces are in a race with medical science to stem a rising tide of human suffering and death.
This is truly a book you won’t want to put down, as it carefully develops characters you will come to care deeply about, then puts them in the deadliest of dangers: a pandemic flu that is claiming the lives of fifty percent of those infected with the virulent strain.
Dr. Isabel Stanhope is having a difficult time transitioning from the refugee camps to her job as a lead researcher at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. At times, she feels that it’s only her rock-solid relationship with newscaster Wes Rodriguez that staves off the deep depression and overwhelming guilt that has followed her from Africa to the Peachtree City.
Half a world away, a scientist named Mahmoud is Prince Hashemi’s principal resource in his mysterious campaign against the West. It’s not a role Mahmoud relishes. Beyond the moral implications of his work, the Ivy League-trained Doctor fears for his own life as he nervously fulfills his role.
And Jose Dominguez steals across the no man’s land between Mexico and the U.S., carrying a heavy backpack that he will exchange for a large sum of money in Dallas. What’s in the backpack? Readers are kept deliciously in the dark as other events unfold.
These storylines converge ingeniously to paint a grim picture of what might happen in a scenario that draws heavily on headlines combining Avian flu and bioterrorism.
The author has clearly done his homework. By the time you finish the book, you’ll feel that you’ve personally walked among the hundreds of unfortunate human bodies in today’s African relocation camps — and through an Atlanta emergency department, where the dead are stacked like cordwood in overflowing storage rooms.
This novel indicts both big pharmaceutical companies, who charge exorbitant amounts for lifesaving vaccines, and incompetent, devious bureaucrats who significantly slow response to the tragic outbreak.
Dr. Stanhope must go it alone to isolate the cause of the virus as she struggles with PTSD-like flashbacks to her days on the Dark Continent.
Will she succeed in time to prevent hundreds of thousands more from dying? And what about the mysterious backpack?
It all comes together in a hair-raising conclusion that will leave you emotionally drained.
Five stars to this novel that is considerably more fact than fiction, and as relevant as today’s headlines. Another triumph for author dhtreichler. I can’t wait to download his other books.
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