Someone broke into the high-level security section of US ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES at Fort Detrick, Maryland and steals vials of weaponized smallpox. Later he dies at the Washington, DC train station after a clandestine hand off to another person.
Jack Turner, Ph.D., is a chemist and the Coroner of San Sebastian County California. He is also a reserve officer (Lt. Colonel) in the Army Medical Service Corp and has a background in chemical and biological warfare from working for defense contractors and a stint at USAMRIID (US ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES). One of his Medical Examiners hits the HOT ZONE lock down button while performing an autopsy. Jack is called to the morgue. The body the M.E. was examining died of smallpox. Not regular smallpox, but an unusual and highly reactive strain of the disease. Jack examines and realizes it is a man made chimera. The smallpox released from the inside the cells of an E-coli bacteria as the cells were killed by antibiotics and the dead man’s immune system. Who made it? Where did it come from? E-coli is common. But, smallpox was eradicated decades ago. He knows there are still strains of smallpox in labs in Russia and in the US. Jack notifies the state and the CDC. He is notified by the federal government to keep it quiet. Dr. Jack Turner receives orders from the U.S. Army Adjutant General activating his reserve commission and authorizes him to act as a law enforcement special agent of the army. Jack and a health department officer, Nancy Cartwright must-find the source of the Chimeras and smallpox, find the perpetrators and stop anyone from using it as a terrorist weapon and causing a pandemic. He and Nancy must stop an attack worse than an atom bomb.
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Generally, I don't care for military type books but I really enjoyed this one. Of course, I tend to like all of David's books. You can check out his others here.