In California, two children die of a disease thought to be nonexistent in the United States. Hours later, thoroughbreds at the Churchill Downs are dying of an unidentified virus. Called in to shed light on these enigmas, virologist Jack Bryne discovers that the two events are not only connected, they are deliberate acts of bioterrorism. Moreover, the deaths bear uncanny similarities to the Fifth and Sixth Plagues described in Exodus.
Every month sees the reenactment of another, even more catastrophic plague - the work of a morbidly brilliant serial killer with a dangerous knowledge of toxins and an obsession with biblical retribution. When the killer invades Bryne's worldwide medical computer network, Bryne himself is suspected by the FBI. Joining forces with his brilliant lab assistant, a TV newswoman, and a young Jewish religious scholar, Byrne must track down the maniac and stop him in time.
Why is this book listed in the teen section? It is in NO way intended for young adults, doesn't have any teens in it, is a very adult story... Not to say a teen wouldn't perhaps be interested, but it clearly is not intended for that audience. It must be a mistake, and hopefully audible will move it to a more appropriate section. Teens be warned - this is not a YA book.
Aside from that, this is a medical thriller in which a scientist tries to unravel the plot of a villain/terrorist who is releasing various nasty diseases. I agree with the other reviewer here that there is a lot of gruesome, graphic detail regarding those diseases, but that didn't bother me, and was obviously part of the story. However, those with little tolerance for that sort of thing probably want to avoid this book. The story is often very dry, bordering on dull. I think it is meant to appeal to people who like such books as The Hot Zone or Demon in the Freezer, but it is not nearly as compelling or well written as those.
The characters are not in any way compelling and don't feel well fleshed out and I didn't feel concerned or interested in them. So when the disease attacks become personal, it lacks the punch I think it was intended to have. After several hours listening to the unleashing of the various diseases and their effects and the scientist explaining them, it became very repetitive and we kind of know exactly where it is going.
There is a theme to the disease attacks- a pattern they fit into. The theme of the disease attacks stops being mysterious once we know about it, and personally I didn't find it as clever as I think it was expected to be - just complex and complicated. I think if you aren't impressed by that element, then the story will not seem as compelling or unique as I think it was supposed to be. I found it just to be really complex, unecessarily so, and a bit too far fetched and often too much dry detail and analysis. There was just something missing from this story for me... The basic idea makes it seem like it should be really interesting, but the writing is just dull, sometimes with more medical detail than is needed, flat characters and an unbelievable and overly complicated plot.
Halfway through I was ready to give it one star, but finished the whole thing and realized that this is not to my taste and I want to be fair. I think the 3 stars I gave it is generous, but there is no 2 and a half option... If I take my personal taste out of the equation, I still don't think it is a brilliant book, but it may appeal to some more than to me, and to be fair it is readable, I made it to the end, and I suspect there are those who will have more interest and patience for the aspects I found dull... So if you like complicated medical crime stories, perhaps this is the book for you, though there are better choices out there, I think - such as those I mentioned above. I also think this book really needs to be moved to its proper category ( thriller, mystery, even science fiction would all be better than the teen section) where it may find a more appropriate audience.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from John Marr and John Baldwin and/or Adams Morgan?
What was most disappointing about John Marr and John Baldwin ’s story?
The disgusting graphicly descriptive detail.
Any additional comments?
The story idea was interesting, and this could have been a good book if the focus had been on the story and not on seeing how badly they could gross out the listener. If you don't have a strong stomach listen to this with your hand on the fast forward button.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful