Independently published by Jeffrey Stettler; no star rating given for indies.
SUMMARY: (science thriller) From author: The Deepwater Horizon crude oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico was from the deepest oil well ever drilled. The crude oil spilling from this well was from a period in geological history coinciding with the greatest mass extinction of life the earth has ever seen. Some of this leaking crude oil is tied to bizarre deaths, at first in sea creatures, but soon, its impact escalated to threaten land animals, plants, and humans.
When a massive fish kill occurs, it is initially blamed on chemicals used to disperse the crude oil—but a covert autopsy of a pet cat suggests something far more sinister is at play. Personal greed from certain high-profile private and government officials, plus the oil company’s fear of financial ruin, results in attempts to cover up the real cause.
A small group of everyday people in Louisiana come together in an attempt to uncover the truth, only to find themselves locked in a life-or-death crusade battling government bureaucracy, Homeland Security, and time. Can they stop the spread of a virus that threatens the extinction of life as we know it?
STRENGTHS: Original premise drives the story–that some biological agent caused mass extinctions back in the Cambrian era (long before the dinosaurs), and that this agent could emerge in modern times via drilling in ancient oil beds. Author’s expertise in fuel science shows through. Small-town protagonist-heroes, including a smart, hardworking fisherman and a veterinarian, are easy to like.
WEAKNESSES: When the story shifts from a group of ordinary folks battling a government/industrial conspiracy to a plague tale with scientists attempting to contain the contagion, some of the tension is lost because we’re . Infectious agent is vaguely defined and unrealistic.
Key words: Deepwater Horizon oil spill; dispersal agent; material safety data sheet; oil plume; parasite molecules; louisiana; tidal surge; horseshoe crab
FCC disclaimer: A free e-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.