Should you get an advance copy of REVERSION by Amy Rogers?

*Gene therapy, medical tourism, illicit drugs, black-market organs, killer chimpanzees, a dying child, and a $50,000 dog at an elite private hospital in Mexico*

“REVERSION has everything I love about science thrillers: an exotic setting, a brilliant protagonist, a terrifying villain, and a story that takes readers on a wild ride across the frontiers of science. It’s a fun, frightening, and memorable novel.” Mark Alpert, author of Extinction

On November 10, after three long years, my next science/medical thriller novel, Reversion, will finally go on sale. If you read and enjoyed Petroplague, or if you enjoy the kinds of books I review here at ScienceThrillers.com, then Reversion is for you.

Today I’m revealing the diabolical front cover of the coming paperback and ebook edition: REVERSIONfrontcover The final edition hasn’t been printed yet, but I do have Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) in paperback and digital formats. I would love to share these with two faithful readers of ScienceThrillers.com, in hopes that you will read them and spread the word about this sophisticated, timely new thriller novel.

To be selected to receive an ARC (in your choice of paper or ebook) of Reversion, leave a comment telling me why you should be the one to get an early copy. In the next week, I’ll choose two lucky readers!

Summary of Reversion:

Rabies kills. Can it also cure?

Tessa Price, PhD, knows what it’s like to lose a child to a genetic disease. To spare another mother this pain, she invents a radical new gene therapy that might save the life of seven-year-old Gunnar Sigrunsson. Unable to get regulatory approval to treat Gunnar in the US, she takes her clinical trial to the Palacio Centro Medico, a resort-like hospital on a Mexican peninsula where rich medical tourists get experimental treatments that aren’t available anywhere else.

When the hospital is taken over by a brutal drug cartel led by a man desperate for a kidney transplant, Tessa hides with a remarkable trio of Palacio clients—rich Texan Lyle Simmons, his much-younger Brazilian girlfriend, and his protection dog, a German shepherd named Dixie, only to learn that the gangsters aren’t the only deadly threat they face. A rabies-like infection that began in the Palacio’s research chimpanzees has spread to humans. Tessa investigates and finds a shocking connection to her gene therapy experiment. In the wake of this discovery, Tessa must weigh the value of one human life against another—including her own.

Pre-order for Kindle version available now. Other vendors and formats coming soon.

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New release book review: SYNBIO by Leslie Alan Horvitz

ScienceThrillers.com book review of SYNBIO by Leslie Alan Horvitz.

BlueStar2

(30th percentile of SciThri)

Publication date: July 1, 2014
Category: science thriller
Tech rating (out of 5; what does this mean?):

Biohazard5

Summary (from amazon listing):

Scientists now have the capacity to hack into DNA the same way that hackers can infiltrate computer systems, manipulating organisms by inserting new DNA or exploiting genetic mutations that can trigger fatal heart attacks or induce bipolar illness or Alzheimer’s. These “biohackers” as they’re known, can perform their experiments in their kitchens using equipment purchased for next to nothing on eBay. Most of these biohackers are like Seth Stringer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who’s made a name for himself exploring the frontiers of genetic manipulation. He’s young, brash, ambitious, and obsessed with his work, but also a little naive. When his former professor Marcus Adair holds out the possibility of coming to London and going to work for an international pharmaceutical company called Chimera, he jumps at the chance. He can make good money and cement his relationship with his girlfriend, who has misgivings about his future prospects as a breadwinner. He fails to realize until too late that the principal business of Chimera isn’t the manufacture of generic drugs but the production of lethal genetic products for well-heeled clients. These are used to assassinate or debilitate presidents, prime ministers, and CEOs using their own DNA against them-a method that not only makes it difficult to identify the perpetrator (a cold virus can deliver the engineered DNA) but makes it almost impossible to determine that a crime has been committed in the first place.

ScienceThrillers review:

I really wanted to love this book.

SynBio starts with a fantastic near-future premise. In SynBio, scientists can readily sequence individual people’s genomes (true). They can identify sequence variations that cause susceptibility to certain diseases (true). They can then design and deliver some kind of agent that will specifically trigger that individual’s disease susceptibility and kill them without a trace (not true in reality, but plausible SciThri).

Seth Stringer is a talented young scientist desperate for cash and recognition. He is unknowingly lured into a complex international scheme to apply his biohacking talents to the perfect murders of people in power. Simultaneously in the book, the reader follows the story of the other protagonist, a deeply flawed yet sympathetic Eugenie Tattersall, who “harvests” the targets’ DNA for sequencing. Seth and Eugenie’s paths cross later in the book.

Author Horvitz clearly knows a lot about science, and he uses that knowledge effectively in this story. There is plenty of it but not too much for SciThri fans (this is what we want, after all). The science is grounded in reality even when it gets a bit woolly with the details of how these personalized biological assassinations take place. Horvitz also writes good scenes and has created two reasonably well-developed characters in Seth and Eugenie. In outline form, most of the plot works.

But a novel is more than the sum of its parts, and as a whole, SynBio ultimately disappoints. The story starts well, despite the confusing use of a secondary character in the opening pages. About a third of the way in, things start to bog down. This reader felt that the climax and resolution should be coming a lot sooner than the page count suggested. Indeed, at about halfway through, the scenes felt repetitive, the overall plot not advancing much.

In the final third, a tough editor or critical reader was needed. A “twist” involving a federal agent seemed transparent to me from the start, and I found it implausible that Seth didn’t see it either. The book becomes ambitious in its global scale, but the writing doesn’t hold up. Lots of implausible small details culminate in a lengthy and unbelievable capture and escape sequence in North Korea. While the “travel” writing is obviously well-researched, the events were unbelievable (both in terms of practicality and motive) and unnecessary.

The ending failed to redeem the fraying narrative. Loose ends, such as Seth’s ex-girlfriend, are left untied. What should have been a satisfying exposure of evil falls flat, and the protagonists’ own story is left unresolved.

FCC disclaimer: A free digital copy of this book was given to me for review via NetGalley. 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: A DEADLY WANDERING by Matt Richtel

ScienceThrillers.com book review and giveaway of A DEADLY WANDERING: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention by Matt Richtel.

Scroll down to enter to win a paperback advance reader copy (ARC) of this new release signed by the author!

Publication date: September 14, 2014
Category: true crime; narrative nonfiction; science journalism

Summary (from the back cover):

A landmark exploration of the vast and expanding impact of technology, rivetingly told through the lens of a deadly collision

One of the year’s most original and masterfully reported books, A Deadly Wandering by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Matt Richtel interweaves the cutting-edge science of attention with the tensely plotted story of a mysterious car accident and its aftermath to answer some of the defining questions of our time: What is technology doing to us? Can our minds keep up with the pace of change? How can we find balance? Through Richtel’s beautifully constructed narrative, a complex and far-reaching topic becomes intimate and urgent—an important call to reexamine our own lives.

On the last day of summer, an ordinary Utah college student named Reggie Shaw fatally struck two rocket scientists while texting and driving along a majestic stretch of highway bordering the Rocky Mountains. Richtel follows Reggie from the moment of the tragedy, through the police investigation, the state’s groundbreaking prosecution (at the time there was little precedent to guide the court), and ultimately, Reggie’s wrenching admission of responsibility. Richtel parallels Reggie’s journey with leading-edge scientific findings regarding human attention and the impact of technology on our brains—showing how these devices, now thoroughly embedded into all aspects of our lives, play to our deepest social instincts and prey on parts of the brain that crave stimulation, creating loops of compulsion, even addiction.

Remarkably, today Reggie is a leading advocate who has helped spark a national effort targeting distracted driving, and the arc of his story provides a window through which Richtel pursues actionable solutions to help manage this crisis individually and as a society. A propulsive read filled with fascinating scientific detail, riveting narrative tension, and rare emotional depth, A Deadly Wandering is a book that can change—and save—lives.

ScienceThrillers review:

Matt Richtel is a science journalist who covers Silicon Valley for the New York Times. In 2009, he wrote a front page story about distracted driving. The story went viral in part because the subject touches so many of us. Richtel was one of the first to put a mirror in front of us, making us unwillingly recognize the ways in which we have allowed our technology to control us and to put us at risk both physically (while driving) and emotionally (in our relationships). His one story became a series, and a Pulitzer Prize followed.

Richtel is fascinated by our uneasy coexistence with digital connectedness and invasive communication. He has spun this interest and expertise beyond world-class journalism into fiction with several brilliant science thriller novels (see links to my reviews below). Now with the release of A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention, Richtel brings his thoughtful, articulate writing to book-length narrative nonfiction.

A Deadly Wandering might change your life.

Most of the words in this book tell the stories of people affected by a horrible car wreck in Utah in 2006. The primary focus is on Reggie Shaw, a 19-year-old Everyman who was texting while driving and crossed the center line, killing two people. In the style of a well-written true crime tale, A Deadly Wandering explores the characters: Reggie, his family, the victims and their families, neighbors in the small community, law enforcement, legislators, judges, and jailers. These stories of tragedy and its aftermath make for a page-turning read.

But Richtel does more than tell the story of the 2006 crash. Using that incident as the example that illustrates the rule, Richtel weaves alternating chapters about the larger story of distracted driving and the even bigger story of our relationship with modern communications technology. With the help of neuroscientists who study the brain and its ability (or inability) to pay attention (some of the most interesting characters in this book), Richtel asks, why is it so hard to lock away the phone when we’re driving? Is social technology addictive? An extreme compulsion? Or simply habit forming?

The author says:

All the tweets and Facebook updates, the emails, the YouTube videos, and texts are not creating themselves. They are enabled by technology, sure. But they are driven by the humans pressing the buttons, asking for a tiny piece of the fractured spotlight.

He cites research that “the motivation to disclose our internal thoughts and knowledge to others” is inherent to our species. We have a deep, primitive desire to communicate. For millennia, our technical ability to give and receive communication was proportional to our brain’s ability to process it. This is no longer the case. Each click, each ping, “gives a little rush, a tiny dopamine squirt,” a narcotic-like pleasure to our brains, but our attention is overwhelmed.

A Deadly Wandering also explores questions of justice and forgiveness, and the emergence of legislation to restrict phone use while driving. Richtel highlights the problem that hands-free cell phone use is no less distracting than holding a phone to your ear, and that automakers are introducing ever more distracting technologies into the cockpits of our cars, and that from a neurological perspective, multitasking is a myth.

After reading this book, I’ve examined my own use of social technology and am approaching not only cell phone use in the car but all my digital interactions with a new trepidation. The message, I think, is one we all pay lip service to but are challenged to act upon: Be fully with the people in your presence. Simplify. And pay attention.

Read the ScienceThrillers reviews of Matt Richtel’s novels:
The Cloud; Floodgate; Devil’s Plaything

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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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Author Guest Post: Kelly Parsons of DOING HARM

ScienceThrillers.com welcomes author Kelly Parsons in a guest post discussing his debut novel, the medical thriller Doing Harm. Parsons is a board-certified urologist with degrees from Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins, and he is on the faculty at the University of California San Diego. He lives with his family in Southern California.

If you like the sound of Doing Harm, scroll down to enter to win a free hardcover copy!

Summary: There are many ways to die in a hospital…being sick is only one of them.

Chief resident Steve Mitchell is the quintessential surgeon: ambitious, intelligent, confident. Charged with molding a group of medical trainees into doctors, and in line for a coveted job, Steve’s future is bright. But then a patient mysteriously dies, and it quickly becomes clear that a killer is on the loose in his hospital. A killer set on playing a deadly game with Steve. A killer holding information that could ruin his career and marriage. Now, alone and under a cloud of suspicion, Steve must discover a way to outsmart his opponent and save the killer’s next victim before the cycle repeats itself again and again…

A chilling and compelling thriller that also takes you into the hospital and details the politics and hierarchy among doctors, as well as the life and death decisions that are made by flawed human beings.

*****
Guest post by author Kelly Parsons

While there was no particular incident in my life that sparked the idea for DOING HARM, I’ve been in the medical field for over 20 years now, and much of what I’ve experienced informs specific elements of the book. The descriptions of the diseases, surgeries, and surgical complications are about as real I could make them. I wanted to convey a truthful sense of what it’s like to be in an operating room.

I also wove some of the internal politics of large, traditional teaching hospitals into the story.

A central focus of DOING HARM is patient safety. It’s a topic I’ve been interested in for many years. Bad things happen to patients every day that have nothing to do with being sick, and some of the characters experience those complications in a very realistic, very frightening way.

I mostly conceived DOING HARM as entertainment. I want readers to enjoy the ride. But while the specific circumstances of the story are pure fiction, patient safety is an important issue facing modern medicine today. I think the medical community has made substantial progress in recognizing and fixing these problems, but we still have a long way to go.

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New release book review: NO TIME TO DIE by Kira Peikoff

ScienceThrillers.com book review and giveaway of NO TIME TO DIE by Kira Peikoff.

Scroll down to enter to win an advance reader copy, 2 available!

BlueStar3

(very good; top 50% of SciThri)

Publication date: August 26, 2014 Category: science thriller Tech rating (out of 5; what does this mean?):

Biohazard5

Summary (from the back cover):

In a Washington, D.C. research lab, a brilliant scientist is attacked by his own test subjects. At Columbia University, a talented biochemist is lured out of her apartment and never seen again. In the Justice Department’s new Bioethics Committee, agent Les Mahler sees a sinister pattern emerging…

Zoe Kincaid is a petite college student whose rare genetic makeup may hold the key to a powerful medical breakthrough. When she is kidnapped, the very thing mankind has wanted since the dawn of time threatens to unleash our final destruction.

ScienceThrillers review:

No Time to Die by Kira Peikoff (author website) is a slick, well-paced, well-written thriller that should satisfy fans of science thrillers. This is a book that I enjoyed reading and was eager to pick up again. A classic beach read: fast, intriguing, not too demanding, and nicely wrapped up in the end.

No Time to Die balances several point of view characters. The main protagonist, but not the only one, is Zoe Kincaid. Zoe is twenty years old but as we learn in the opening chapters, she stopped aging biologically at fourteen. To Zoe, this arrested development seems a curse as she is trapped in a child’s body. To others, it looks like the Holy Grail of anti-aging research: a natural mutation in the “master regulator gene” which controls development to adulthood and then beyond into the dysfunction of old age. If the responsible genes or mutations could be identified in Zoe’s DNA, human existence might be fundamentally changed.

Zoe’s first conflict is with her parents, who are strangely resistant to finding answers to what ails her, and to letting her seek help when answers are found. In the absence of their support, and with the tacit approval of her beloved, sympathetic grandfather, she takes matters into her own hands. But forces beyond her comprehension are at work and she becomes embroiled in a battle between The Network, a group which makes scientists disappear, and sends taunting postcards to their opponents, the Justice Department’s Bioethics Committee.

No Time to Die dabbles lightly in some larger themes. Peikoff’s characters briefly comment on the profound implications of a successful therapy to stop humans from growing old, but the analysis remains superficial. Interestingly, Peikoff takes a stand about regulation of science that is contrary to the zeitgeist of a lot of popular entertainment: scientists are not always the “bad guys,” and sometimes those who impose restrictions on scientific investigation with the intention of protecting the public are not, in fact, doing what is best for the public. (Peikoff’s father was a close associate of Ayn Rand, and a staunch advocate of laissez faire.)

Peikoff confidently and competently incorporates science into this story. There is enough techno-lingo, correctly used, to thrill the SciThri fan, but not too much to turn off the non-scientist reader. As is true with all good science thrillers, the author takes liberties with scientific timelines (you can’t make knockout mice in a few weeks, or even months) and details (such as the current impossibility of altering genes in an adult human, even when a mutation is known), but this is done in the service of telling a story.

In many ways, No Time to Die deserved a four-star rating from ScienceThrillers.com but a variety of subtle issues weakened the narrative for me. To begin, I felt some confusion about the main character Zoe’s mental age. Does she have the mental maturity of a an early teen, or a young adult? This is important because it’s a legal question in the story, and also because the reader is trying to interpret her actions and motivations, which alternately appear childish and adult. Should the reader support the characters who infantilize the girl because she really cannot make her own decisions, or should the reader root for Zoe’s emancipation? Minor points: Zoe’s seizure disorder is used as a plot device for tension but is ignored in the question of what the effects of her genetic mutation might be; she is described repeatedly as being short and having the body of a child, but if she stopped aging at 14, that seems unlikely. Most of the 14-year-old girls I know are well-developed and approaching their adult height. A more believable age of developmental arrest would be 12, or even 10. The motivation of the story’s villain is not believable. This is not how sadistic psychopaths are made (if they are made at all, not just born). To avoid spoilers, I can’t describe a key plot element but I found the setup hard to swallow, especially the aspect that involves people with no ties binding them to the world around them.

On the positive side, a hero is introduced in this book who is very appealing, and his re-appearance in Peikoff’s next novel will be welcome.

No Time to Die is a worthy addition to the SciThri genre. If you’re looking for the perfect thing to keep you occupied on your next long flight, this is an excellent choice.

By the way, Ms. Peikoff, the next thing I’m going to do is look up Ulysses by Tennyson–it’s been years since I read it. Thanks for the reminder.

Unusual words: growth plates; genome sequencing; microarray; master regulator gene; knockout; epigenetics

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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: 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:

**********

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.

**********

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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