Gulf war syndrome: fact or fiction? Saudi Arabia, 1991. Troops are in a state of high alert. The chemical warfare detectors have sounded, and the soldiers scramble into their protective suits. In terse silence, they remind themselves of the vaccinations that will protect them. Then the all clear sounds, and the troops rejoice that they are unharmed. Or so they think.
Dr. Steven Dunbar works for the SCI-Med Inspectorate, an elite government agency charged with investigating hi-tech crime relating to the world of science and medicine. He is therefore bemused when the deathbed confession of a convicted psychopath lands on his desk. But it's not so amusing when it emerges that another man has already been tried and convicted of the crime - a man whose medical research once sent shockwaves through the scientific community.
"Another Good Dr Dunbar"
When a top research institute is broken into and vandalised, the police at first believe that animal-rights activists took things a step too far. Then they discover one of the institute's eminent scientists, Tim Devon, brutally murdered. Dr. Steven Dunbar, working for an elite government agency, is sent to investigate. A few of the dead scientist's research animals have also gone missing, and top-level authorities are strangely obsessed with hunting down and killing the purportedly harmless animals.
John Motram has the chance of a lifetime. A cell biologist convinced that the Black Death was not caused by bubonic plague but by an unknown virus, he is asked to examine preserved bodies buried under the ancient abbey at Dryburgh. However, Motram’s excavations end up in disaster when he first becomes violent and then dangerously ill after entering the secret tomb.
Dr. Steven Dunbar has left his job with the Sci-Med Inspectorate and now works for a pharmaceutical company. He is persuaded to return when his old boss falls seriously ill and requests that he take a look into the suspicious deaths of a number of people. Steven makes good progress and is beginning to share his old mentor's concerns when the UK comes under attack. A nightmare disease is let loose on major cities. Steven is co-opted to help out in what seems destined to become a losing battle against a rampaging infection.
The governments of the Western world know a terrorist biological attack will happen sooner rather than later. Vaccination is a crucial response, but designing and producing vaccines has never been harder due to stringent trials, rules, and regulations, as well as huge settlements in an increasingly litigious society. There is no such thing as a “completely safe vaccine”, but necessity soon begins to outweigh caution and corners are cut.