SciThri new releases: August 2014

This month’s roundup of newly-released, or new to me, indie science & medical thrillers.  These books are among the many I don’t have time to read and review, but genre fans might enjoy.

If you are an author or publicist and would like your book listed, contact me with title, author, release date, weblinks, and summary. Only books with scientific or medical themes or characters will be included. Ask me about hosting a giveaway raffle on your behalf (paper books only).

SciThri New (or new to me) Releases:

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BioKill: A Matt Lilburn novel by Stuart Handley. Indie action thriller with science (2014).

Takfir wal-Hijra is one of the most extreme Islamist groups on the planet; they call for their followers to train in the use of arms, to blend in with their surrounds and to be sleepers within foreign communities ready to awaken and cause maximum mayhem.
Follow the path of a contagious virus as it is purposely extracted from one country to another before landing on American soil. When Homeland special agent, Matt Lilburn gets involved, terrorism has one heck of a fight on its hands.

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Do you enjoy thrillers with real science? Read Petroplague by Dr. Amy Rogers. Oil-eating bacteria contaminate the fuel supply of Los Angeles and paralyze the city. “Compellingly written, technically literate” “top 5 on my best of 2011 list” “the science is utterly believable” “I couldn’t put this one down”

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Indie book review: A LIFE UNBROKEN by K.M. Hewitt

Book review of A Life Unbroken by K.M. Hewitt.
Indie revenge thriller with science themes. No star rating given for indies. (Why?)


SUMMARY (from amazon): As the sole witness to a devastating accident at a secret Biological Weapons Lab, Alex McKay vanishes while on assignment in South America. Six years later… through luck and a twist of fate… she resurfaces in the U.S. with a new name, a new face and a new identity. Alex has a frightening story to tell and she knows it could send shockwaves throughout the nation and world… if she lives long enough to tell it.

ScienceThrillers Review: Author K.M. Hewitt and I share a favorite book: Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo. A Life Unbroken is a thriller clearly modeled on Dumas’s classic tale of wrongful imprisonment, transformation, empowerment, and revenge.

In this book, PhD plant biologist Alex (a tribute to Alexandre?) McKay stumbles into knowledge of an illegal biological weapons laboratory. Her enemies attempt to destroy her to protect themselves, but miraculously she returns to plot her revenge.

STRENGTHS: The character of Alex McKay, written in the intimate first person voice, is the best part of this book. Although incredible things happen to her, Alex is a believable character and a person we can both relate to and admire. Hewitt writes well and transports the reader from the comfort of McKay’s home to the horrors of Prision del perdido to the corridors of power in Washington, DC. The emotional impact of Alex’s horrific betrayal resonate strongly. This is a nightmare anyone can understand, and fear–the fear of total loss and abandonment.

WEAKNESSES: While the overall plot is sound, weakness in the details of execution make it hard for the reader to immerse in the story. For example, the villain has power that seems disproportionate to his status as a Senator (at first it appears he is a state senator in California, which made it even less believable). He is also shown to be the US President’s Chief of Staff, a full-time job that would not be held by a Senator and is not consistent with his personal meddling in biological weaponry (an involvement which is never explained). The bioweapons lab is suggested to be a BSL4 facility but is not portrayed in a way to represent the complexity and structural integrity such facilities require. The aftermath of the accident at the lab also is unrealistic: the involved scientists wandering about the broken facility, the disease outbreak which any skilled epidemiologist would have identified as man-made. The final scenes which culminate in McKay’s revenge are workable but in plot detail do not stand up to scrutiny, and thus do not provide the satisfying punch the reader craves.

Summary: A contemporary tribute to The Count of Monte Cristo with a strong female protagonist and a new writer’s voice that is likely to strengthen with future novels.

FCC disclaimer: A free copy of this book was given to me for review. As always, I made no guarantee that I would read the book or post a positive review.

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New release book review: THE GOD PARTICLE by Tom Avitabile

ScienceThrillers.com book review of THE GOD PARTICLE by Tom Avitabile.

BlueStar3

(very good; top 50% of SciThri)

Publication date: June 2014
Category: military / science thriller
Tech rating (out of 5; what does this mean?):Biohazard2

Summary (from the publisher):

When the smallest imagined particle of matter threatens to destroy all that matters, science and religion collide on the world stage and within the corridors of power. Presidential Science Advisor William “Wild Bill” Hiccock and his top-secret Quarterback Operations Group (QUOG) has already faced down some of the most sinister high-tech rivals imaginable. Now they must face one that can eliminate all life on Earth in an instant.

THE GOD PARTICLE is a super-kinetic thriller that pits brains, religion, political power, and common humanity against the onslaught of extremely dangerous, narrowly focused scientific exploration into the fabric of creation, complete with a plot to shoot down one of the President’s helicopters. Fringe religious groups – but not the usual suspects – engage in terror. Ugly espionage is set against the beauty of the Cote D’Azur. The romance of Paris offsets the grit of Boston’s South of Roxbury while the Euro-pop discos of Switzerland punctuate the quest.

In the end it comes down to one question: Can former FBI agent Brooke Burrell, now QUOG’s lead operative, choose between her personal and professional life in time to solve the puzzle and stop it all?

ScienceThrillers review:

I heard author Tom Avitabile speak on a panel at ThrillerFest in New York in July and picked up this latest book in his “Quarterback Operations Group” series, which began with The Eighth Day and Hammer of God. QUOG is a powerful, top-secret US organization led by “Wild Bill” Hiccock, special science advisor to the President. (QUOG reminds me a bit of James Rollins’s Sigma Force.)

In The God Particle, tough-as-nails FBI agent/QUOG operative Brooke Burrell fights for her life in shark-infested waters of the Indian Ocean after being blown off a ship while on an undercover mission to recover evidence of illegal trafficking in nuclear weapons technology. Brooke remains the book’s primary protagonist, and she is an attractive one, displaying equal amounts of intelligence, skill, grit, and compassion. (According to Tom Avitabile’s website, Brooke is so well-liked he is spinning off a new book series just for her.) Back in Washington DC, Hiccock and his close associate Joey Palumbo are asked to advise about a potentially risky particle-smashing experiment planned at CERN, the European supercollider where evidence for the Higgs boson (so-called God particle) was found.

The plot has many angles–not twists, more a series of plot lines that intersect, sometimes in ways that rely too much on coincidence to be believable–so there is plenty of action in a range of interesting foreign locales. The book has a cinematic feel, especially in the dialogue. With the variety of subplots, which get wrapped up episodically at different points in the book, it reminded me a bit of the structure of a TV series.

This book’s greatest strength is its portrayal of the military. If I had to put the QUOG books in a single category, it would be military action-adventure, not science thriller (though they are both). Avitabile uses plenty of military terminology, and nods to a variety of traditions and everyday conventions in the service. In particular in this volume, submarine warfare operations are used to great effect. (Loved those scenes on the sub!) I know nothing about this field, but I certainly came away with the impression that Avitabile did his homework and has the details right. Also, the submarine’s noble commanding officer, who becomes Burrell’s love interest, is a worthy match.

One thing I appreciated about this book is that the federal authorities are not evil/corrupt/murderous etc. Too many thrillers I’ve read portray psychopathic “public servants,” a trend that I believe both reflects and feeds public suspicion of the government.

Avitabile’s writing style is lean, his dialogue concrete and to the point. I would describe the overall tone and POV of the book as masculine, in the way Clive Cussler’s books are masculine (without Cussler’s 1970s sexist streak). Which is not to say that the female lead character isn’t well written; she is well written.

Tom Avitabile’s Quarterback Operations Group thrillers are an excellent choice for readers who like a little bit of science with international intrigue, military themes, and action.

If you like THE GOD PARTICLE / QUOG, you might enjoy:
The Calypso Directive (Book #1 in Think Tank series) by Brian Andrews

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Medical thriller DEADLY ERRORS by Allen Wyler

ScienceThrillers is pleased to offer a giveaway of a medical thriller that explores a real-life medical nightmare: deadly patient care mistakes.

Deadly Errors by Allen Wyler

Author Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity. He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.

In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.

Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time. Watch for Wyler’s new thriller Deadly Odds, on sale in September. a Rafflecopter giveaway

A comatose man is given a fatal dose of insulin in the emergency room, even though he isn’t diabetic. An ulcer patient dies of shock after receiving a transfusion of the wrong blood type. A recovering heart patient receives a double dose of medication and suffers a fatal heart attack. Brain surgeon Dr. Tyler Matthews suspects that something is seriously wrong with the hospital’s new Med-InDx computerized medical record system. But he doesn’t suspect that there’s something murderously wrong with it. As Matthews begins to peel back the layers of deception that cover the deadly errors, he crosses powerful corporate interests who aren’t about to let their multi-billion dollar medical record profits evaporate. Now a target, Matthews finds himself trapped in a maze of deadly conspiracy, with his career, his marriage, and his very life on the line.

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New release book review: THE SIXTH EXTINCTION (Sigma Force) by James Rollins

ScienceThrillers.com book review and giveaway of THE SIXTH EXTINCTION (a Sigma Force novel) by James Rollins.

Scroll down to enter to win a hardcover of this hot new release!

(extraordinary; top 10-15% of SciThri)

Publication date: August 12, 2014
Category: science thriller
Tech rating (out of 5; what does this mean?):

Biohazard4

Summary (from the publisher):

A remote military research station sends out a frantic distress call, ending with a chilling final command: Kill us all! Personnel from the neighboring base rush in to discover everyone already dead-and not just the scientists, but every living thing for fifty square miles is annihilated: every animal, plant, and insect, even bacteria.

The land is entirely sterile-and the blight is spreading.

To halt the inevitable, Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma must unravel a threat that rises out of the distant past, to a time when Antarctica was green and all life on Earth balanced upon the blade of a knife. Following clues from an ancient map rescued from the lost Library of Alexandria, Sigma will discover the truth about an ancient continent, about a new form of death buried under miles of ice.

From millennia-old secrets out of the frozen past to mysteries buried deep in the darkest jungles of today, Sigma will face its greatest challenge to date: stopping the coming extinction of mankind.

But is it already too late?

ScienceThrillers review:

If you’re a fan of science-themed or techno-thrillers but you don’t know author James Rollins and the Sigma Force series, it’s past time to join the party.

Rollins is easily one of the top three writers of science-themed action thrillers working today. The phrase “the next Michael Crichton” has been horribly overused, but Rollins has a legitimate claim to the title. The Sixth Extinction, his newest Sigma novel, is a masterpiece of imaginative, suspenseful storytelling with plenty of science and science fiction elements.

The Sixth Extinction is as good as or better than any other book in the Sigma Force series. I was particularly entranced by the science themes, which focus on synthetic biology and bioengineering. (Bringing microbes and molecules into a story is always a plus with me!) Strange life forms, both micro and macro, aren’t the only newcomers to this Sigma novel. Rollins introduces Jenna Beck, a California State Parks ranger who has brains, courage, resourcefulness, and a search-and-rescue dog named Nikko. (Rollins, who was a veterinarian in his previous life, has started writing great dog characters. Check out his Tucker Wayne stories, featuring military dog Kane: Bloodline (Sigma Force), Tracker: A Short Story (Sigma Force Novels), The Kill Switch: A Tucker Wayne Novel (Sigma Force Novels).)

As readers expect in Sigma tales, the action in Sixth Extinction is wild and nonstop and set in several exotic locales. In this installment, Antarctica and the Brazilian Amazon are key settings. My favorite setting is actually the one least exotic to me: California’s eastern Sierra Nevada, including Mono Lake, the village of Lee Vining, and the ghost town Bodie.

Readers will recognize strong echoes of Crichton’s Jurassic Park and Micro in this novel. Rollins displays impressive creativity in constructing worlds teeming with predators that are believable and terrifying. He also uses his story to thoughtfully explore some important issues about how humans might or are responding to what many believe is a real-life sixth great extinction happening right now. See his notes at the end of the book for discussion.

There is generally less development of Sigma team member life stories in this volume (though there are wedding bells in the air) but there is a setup for more stories to come.

In his Sigma Force thrillers, Rollins is known for mashing together crazy mixtures of real science and history and turning them into action-packed plots. Sixth Extinction is no exception. What I found particularly appealing about this installment of the series is the science focus on biotechnology. I’m a sucker for DNA stories. Rollins plays games with real science, taking bits of truth and sometimes stretching them into pure science fiction. In this book, the stretches are shorter, maybe because (as he points out in the end notes) science reality in the field of synthetic biology is perilously close to fantasy. Hence the 4 biohazards rating, higher than Sigma usually gets from me. Rollins actually had me looking some stuff up (CRISPR-Cas technology, to be precise) and I enjoyed learning about the new technology.

In short, take it as a given that if you follow this website, you should be reading James Rollins. The Sixth Extinction may not be the best place to start, given the long history of the characters in the series, but then again, it’s a fabulous page-turner and who cares if you don’t know all the details? Pick up whichever Sigma novel you can get your hands on and get started.

Unusual words: synthetic biology; XNA; nucleotides; codons; arsenic; facilitated adaptation; de-extinction; CRISPR; MAGE / CAGE; pleistocene park; extremophiles; retrotransposons; biohacking; panspermia; Darwin; Tierra del Fuego; tepui; prion

Read the ScienceThrillers reviews of other Sigma novels by James Rollins:
Bloodline; Sandstorm; The Judas Strain

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you enjoy thrillers with real science? Read Petroplague by Amy Rogers. Oil-eating bacteria contaminate the fuel supply of Los Angeles and paralyze the city. “Compellingly written, technically literate” “top 5 on my best of 2011 list” “the science is utterly believable” “I couldn’t put this one down”

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Book Buzz: JUSTICE by Michael J. Sandel

At ScienceThrillers.com, I specialize in books that have scientific or medical content (see my post on how this is different from science fiction). But sometimes I come across a book that simply is too good not to share, even if it lies outside my technophile niche. Today is #4 in my entirely unpredictable series of Book Buzz posts.

Justice by Michael J. Sandel, celebrity Harvard professor and moral philosopher, based on the undergraduate course of the same name.

Summary from the publisher:

Justice relates the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of our time: bank bailouts, equality and inequality, taxes, immigration, affirmative action, the role of markets, national service, same-sex marriage, the place of religion in politics, and the ethical questions we confront in our everyday lives. Sandel invites readers of all political persuasions on a fascinating journey of moral reflection, and shows how reasoned debate can illuminate democratic life.

ScienceThrillers Review: I never took Sandel’s famous core curriculum course while I was at Harvard. My future husband did, as did a great many other undergraduates. There was something special about that class: people talked about it, and kept talking about it. Sandel was accomplishing what all educators wish they could. He was lighting a fire.

Now, years later, Professor Sandel has written a book based on the content of that course which has now become famous beyond the ivy walls. Which means I had a second chance to be his student. (Or third chance, if you consider I rejected the idea of enrolling in the online edX version of Justice as too onerous.)

No one would describe Justice as a beach read, but I did read it on vacation, an advantage that allowed me to focus more fully and not abandon the book for too-long intervals. It is a page-turner in its own way. Sandel’s gift is two-fold. First, he streamlines the key arguments and perspectives of a select group of great moral philosophers. The ideas aren’t dumbed down, but they are artfully reduced to their essence. Second, he uses real-world anecdotes to illustrate the application of the various philosophies, and equally important, he explains the intellectual challenges made to each. (Which allowed me to pretend that’s exactly what I was thinking and I was glad he brought it up.)

Moral issues used in the book include the famous runaway trolley problem, outrage over the bailout, exploding gas tanks in Ford Pintos, a consensual cannibalism case from Germany, the voluntary military, surrogate pregnancy, selling kidneys, Bill Clinton and Monica, affirmative action, reparations, evacuating Ethiopian Jews, buying American, and much more. In each case, although Sandel is clearly a contemporary American liberal, he avoids taking a decisive stand but works through the logical conclusion of the relevant moral philosophy.

Thus about 80% of the book is an engaging, readable distillation of important ideas about justice, society, and morality. In the last 20% or so, Sandel goes beyond teaching and presents his own argument for a new approach to justice in our times. Once you wrap your head around it, you realize that he is advocating for a revolutionary re-thinking of the moral neutrality which has been the unwritten goal of justice in America for some decades. His is a bracing, risky gambit–but once you’ve read the whole book, you’ll see why it may be the only way to save modern politics.

A remarkable, compact book that will stimulate the logic circuits of your brain and leave you pondering Big Questions.

Unusual words: utilitarianism; Jeremy Bentham; John Stuart Mill; libertarianism; universal rights; laissez-faire; pure practical reason; Immanuel Kant; categorical imperative; intelligible realm; John Rawls; moral desert; Aristotle; telos

If you like Justice, you might like:
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt.

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New release book review: WORKING STIFF by Judy Melinek & TJ Mitchell

ScienceThrillers.com book review of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek, MD, and T.J. Mitchell.

Note: Dr. Melinek appeared on NPR’s Science Friday on August 8; listen here.

Publication date: August 12, 2014
Category: memoir

Summary (from the publisher):

The fearless memoir of a young forensic pathologist’s “rookie season” as a NYC medical examiner, and the cases—hair-raising and heartbreaking and impossibly complex—that shaped her as both a physician and a mother.

Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband T.J. and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation—performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy’s two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines flight 587.

Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of America’s most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies—and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law & Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.

ScienceThrillers review:

Fictional portrayals of forensic science and medical examiners are popular in TV, movies, and books these days. Have you ever watched CSI or a similar program and wished you could have drinks with a forensic pathologist and get her to talk, telling real stories from the strange world of death?

Then this book is definitely for you.

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner is Judy Melinek’s story of her training in forensic pathology at an extraordinary place (New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner) at an extraordinary time (2001-2003, spanning the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Amerithrax anthrax attacks, and the crash of American Airlines Flight 587). Written with her husband and co-author TJ Mitchell, Melinek’s memoir is a sensitive, human story which illustrates how medical examiners are real doctors who serve the living with compassion, even though their patients are dead.

Of course, Working Stiff is packed with true stories from the morgue, some funny, some pathetic, some deeply tragic, all human, and all appealing to the reader’s curiosity. The reader must bring a touch of morbid to their curiosity as well: descriptions of the nuts-and-bolts anatomic business of doing an autopsy are an essential part of this book, so I can’t recommend it for those who are easily grossed out. Melinek and Mitchell do a masterful job of conveying the thrill of solving a medical mystery using clues left in the body and at the scene of death–and also relaying the frustration when the evidence leaves no definitive answers.

These stories are so good, I can imagine how the authors were bursting to tell them but couldn’t do so in the ordinary dinner conversation type of way (for obvious reasons). For example, who can resist the Mysterious Case of the Maraschino Donkey Dongs?

Throughout the book, Melinek reveals her admiration for her mentor Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, a medical examiner and teacher of the kind we all wish we had, a man of clarity and precision who lectures about things like “speculation built on a foundation of assumption.”

A great strength of Working Stiff is the narrator’s voice. Melinek comes across as a person we can relate to (except maybe for her tolerance for gore), and through whose eyes we can experience the world of death investigation. She says:

I get a kick out of fictionalized accounts of what I do for a living. The female ME with bedroom eyes, stiletto heels, and a lot of cleavage shows up at a gory, atmospherically ill-lit murder scene. Her diagnoses are instant and ironclad, the banter with her colleagues witty…I wore sensible shoes and a Medical Examiner windbreaker.

Melinek shares her apprehension of pet cats:

Your faithful golden retriever might sit next to your dead body for days, starving, but the tabby won’t. Your pet cat will eat you right away, with no qualms at all…I’ve seen the result.

(as a cat owner, I somehow sense this is true…)

On the question of whether her job makes her fearful in daily life:

It freed me from our six o’clock news phobias. Once I became on eyewitness to death, I found that nearly every unexpected fatality I investigated was either the result of something dangerously mundane, or of something predictably hazardous…Staying alive, it turns out, is mostly common sense.

The majority of the book takes place in ordinary time (or what passes for that in NYC), but readers will be especially drawn to the final chapters which are set during the overwhelming tragedies of September and October 2001. Melinek and Mitchell tell the story of DM01 (Disaster Manhattan, 2001) with honesty and accuracy, with pathos, not melodrama. The authors handle this emotionally difficult territory successfully, eliciting tears in this reader while hitting the right notes of courage and hope. Readers will get a new understanding of the magnitude of the disasters, and the titanic nature of the forces unleashed when the planes crashed.

Working Stiff is a page-turning, engrossing book that reveals a hidden world and shows that the work of understanding death is actually a labor of life.

If you like forensic pathology, you should read:
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach; the Temperance Brennan novels by Kathy Reichs (Deja Dead, etc.)

FCC disclaimer: An advance reader copy of this book was given to me for review. As always, I made no guarantee that I would read the book or post a positive review.

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SciThri new releases: July 2014

This month’s roundup of newly-released, or new to me, indie science & medical thrillers.  These books are among the many I don’t have time to read and review, but genre fans might enjoy.

If you are an author or publicist and would like your book listed, contact me with title, author, release date, weblinks, and summary. Only books with scientific or medical themes or characters will be included. Ask me about hosting a giveaway raffle on your behalf (paper books only).

SciThri New (or new to me) Releases:

(Bonus this month: BOOK GIVEAWAY RAFFLE!)

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The Genius Dilemma by Dustin Grinnell. Sci Fi thriller (2014).

A team of scientists has invented a new smart drug named Trillium. A revolutionary medical breakthrough, Trillium enhances cognitive abilities, creating geniuses. But the researchers are horrified to discover that genius comes at a cost.

Leviathan, the CIA’s assassination team, has been tasked with eliminating global threats using any means necessary. When their superior General Beranger learns about Trillium, he believes he’s uncovered a distinct advantage in the fight against terrorism. After convincing the scientists to share the drug with his team, Beranger learns there’s just one problem—Trillium creates cold-blooded psychopaths. The first casualty is CIA operative David Landry who snaps hours after taking the drug. When he goes rogue, it’s up to Special Forces, along with renowned neuroscientist Alan Pierce and psychiatrist Michelle Emmett, to stop them.

Armed with a hastily concocted antidote, the team hunts Landry. His destination? Africa. Nasir Lwazi, the Kenyan president, has recently been murdered. Believing Lwazi’s son Thomas is a threat to national security, Landry is on a ruthless mission to destroy him and he doesn’t plan to let anyone get in his way. Alan and the Special Forces team are determined to reach Kenya and stop Landry before he harms Thomas or any other innocent civilians. But can they get there in time? Will the antidote work? Or will Landry suffer the same fate as their other targets? In the unforgettable climax, an epic battle for power ensues as the Special Forces team attempts to thwart Landry’s homicidal tendencies.

The Tenth Chamber by Glenn Cooper. Thriller (2014). I’m told that this novel explores “archaeology, paleobotany and historical medicines/drugs,” and it comes with a blurb from James Rollins, so I’m including it in the roundup even though the plot summary doesn’t sound science-y.

Abbey of Ruac, rural France – A medieval script is discovered hidden behind an antique bookcase. Badly damaged, it is sent to Paris for restoration, and there literary historian Hugo Pineau begins to read the startling fourteenth-century text. Within its pages lies a fanciful tale of a painted cave and the secrets it contains – and a rudimentary map showing its position close to the abbey. Intrigued, Hugo enlists the help of archaeologist Luc Simard and the two men go exploring.

When they discover a vast network of prehistoric caves, buried deep within the cliffs, they realize that they’ve stumbled across something extraordinary. And at the very core of the labyrinth lies the most astonishing chamber of all, just as the manuscript chronicled. Aware of the significance of their discovery, they set up camp with a team of experts, determined to bring their find to the world. But as they begin to unlock the ancient secrets the cavern holds, they find themselves at the centre of a dangerous game. One ‘accidental’ death leads to another. And it seems that someone will stop at nothing to protect the enigma of the tenth chamber.

a Rafflecopter giveaway of THE TENTH CHAMBER

Dead Wrong by Allen Wyler. Medical thriller (2013).

When a top secret program of implanting harrowing memories into innocent people comes to light, neurosurgeon Tom McCarthy is literally caught in the crossfire. While McCarthy looks forward to a three day weekend, his office is suddenly raided by two Department of Defense investigators bent on arresting him for a crime he didn’t commit. All hell breaks loose when an inadvertent scuffle escalates, leaving one agent dead at the hands of the other, and McCarthy fleeing but hopelessly trapped inside the labyrinthine corridors, heating ducts, and stairways of a gigantic Seattle medical center.

With the CIA and Seattle PD closing in, McCarthy unwittingly pulls Dr. Sarah Hamilton into the fray. And like rats in a maze, they struggle to stay one step ahead of their deadly hunters, while simultaneously uncovering a trail of corruption that reaches shocking dimensions.

Penned by master neurosurgeon, Allen Wyler, Dead Wrong brings the reader inside the world of an insidious and terrifyingly plausible narrative, to create a heart pounding, claustrophobic and nightmarish thriller.

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Do you enjoy thrillers with real science? Read Petroplague by Dr. Amy Rogers. Oil-eating bacteria contaminate the fuel supply of Los Angeles and paralyze the city. “Compellingly written, technically literate” “top 5 on my best of 2011 list” “the science is utterly believable” “I couldn’t put this one down”

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