This month’s roundup of newly-released, or new to me, thrillers in the science or medical genre. These books are among the many I simply 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.
SciThri New (or new to me) Releases:
Generation by William Knight (April 2012). Indie science thriller; molecular biology tale with zombie & horror elements.
Journalist Hendrix ‘Aitch’ Harrison links bodies stolen from a renowned forensic-research lab to an influential drug company. Aided by Sarah Wallace, a determined and beguiling entomologist, he delves into a grisly world of clinical trials and a viral treatment beyond imagining. But Aitch must battle more than his fear of technology to expose the macabre fate of the drugged victims donated to scientific research.
The facts behind the fiction:
In 2001 scientists isolated the gene for regenerating damaged organs from the DNA of a South American flatworm. Within five years it had been spliced into the chromosomes of a rhesus monkey, transported through the cell walls by a retro-virus denuded of its own genetic material. Attempting to regrow impaired or elderly tissues, a scientist will one day modify the DNA of human beings by injecting the gene-carrying virus. It is just a matter of time. Before consenting to treatment, you may want to ask a simple question: could there be a situation in which you would want to die but were unable to do so?
The Cure: A Thriller by Bradlee Frazer (March 2012). Science thriller.
What if we had the cure for a catastrophic illness, but it lay hidden inside the blood and bones of just one man?
A mysterious new contagion is decimating the population. It starts in the lungs, like the flu, then moves to the bones, where it weakens and breaks them, eventually killing the host. The disease’s origin, methods of propagation and means of contraction are all unknown. There is no vaccine, and none is expected, as the virus is protean and elusive. If it remains unchecked and mutates into a more virulent form, it will become an extinction level event.
Jason Kramer has the disease, known by its nickname “Trips Lite” (the CDC doctor who discovered it is a fan of Stephen King’s “The Stand”), but his body produces a unique antibody that kills the viruses inside him. This component in Jason’s blood can be harvested and given to anyone who needs it—his blood can heal. But pharmaceutical magnate Phillip Porter needs to keep people believing that only his expensive drug cocktail will slow Trips Lite down, and so if there’s any chance someone with the disease will live, Phillip Porter must make sure that Jason Kramer does not.
Interweaving the styles of John Grisham and Michael Crichton, The Cure is a thriller that fuses genres while retaining its own unique voice to tell the story of Jason—burdened with the knowledge that he is mankind’s last hope—as he struggles against Porter’s avarice and greed in the face of an impending viral apocalypse.
“Death is very likely the single best invention of Life.” Steve Jobs, Stanford, 2005
Rosen David, a research biologist who does no research, is about to find out what the late Steve Jobs meant. Working in biotech and looking for novel patterns in the work of others, he makes a dramatic new discovery with profound implications for medicine and society. When his work starts disappearing and his life is threatened, his settled existence becomes complicated and dangerous. His actions entangle him in the invisible network of an elderly, jet-setting doctor with unusual patients, including a pair of sybaritic California billionaires and the brutal and long-lived African dictator, Edgar Jabari Mbutsu. Rosen ends up playing in a high stakes game with powerful players who leave him wondering how long he will live. The rules are unclear, the cards he holds are of uncertain value, and he may be called upon to bet everything.
Still Lake by Sara Brooke (April 2012). Indie medical horror/suspense.
Don’t drink the water.
Flening has always been a quiet, friendly town. Nestled in the forests of Northwest Florida, its home to a small population of familiar faces and the natural beauty of Still Lake. But now, the town is changing. People are getting sick and some are going crazy. A mysterious illness is sweeping through, destroying families, and threatening to spread further. People are changing.
Dr. Craig Lenton is desperately trying to stop the sickness before he and the people he loves become part of the carnage, but time is running out and the calm waters of Still Lake may be hiding something sinister and evil underneath…
False Positives by Kim Aleksander (2011). Indie technothriller.
In 1972, a gifted student at Berkeley writes the first computer virus. When it’s run on the university mainframe it simply vanishes. Thirty-five years later, a government computer system issues ostensibly baseless assassination orders, and its creator goes in search of the ghost in the machine. What she discovers is a legacy black-ops program from the Vietnam Era that is alive and killing today. As she fights to prevent her brainchild from becoming a weapon for government-sanctioned murder, the protagonist is pitted against adversaries hell-bent on wielding the machine with Machiavellian ruthlessness to achieve their political ambitions. Joined by an eclectic band of characters, she plots to bring down the system before it is used to start a war of biblical proportions, and in doing so, she becomes marked for termination by her own creation.