SciThri new releases: August 2012

This month’s roundup of newly-released, or new to me, 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:

Fresh Frozen by Darden North, MD. Indie medical thriller.

A young policeman and his tormented wife fail miserably to produce a family, finding themselves outcasts in the renewed baby boom sweeping the United States. However, there is one last hope for them: a catalogue of human embryo and egg donors peddled by a woman whose standards are easily dismissed for the right price.

Pursuing their futile attempts to become parents has nearly cost the wife her life and pushed the couple to the brink of bankruptcy. This purportedly last chance for Wesley and Carrie Sarbeck to satisfy their place as parents in Middle America unknowingly tosses them in the midst of a grisly murder plot, the world of Hollywood celebrities, and a heist of freshly frozen human embryos.

The lives of Sarbeck, international superstar Allyn Saxton, and southern socialite Cheryl Choice unwittingly collide at the Van Deman Center, a state-of-the-art clinic for the treatment of infertility. Housed in a once decaying building complex just north of Jackson, Mississippi, the facility becomes saturated with not only the most modern of medical technology but also a network of security cameras hidden in unconventional places.

While Tinker Murtagh, an Internet voyeur and thief looks on, each of the three women has her own reason for entering the Center. However, as a result of subjecting herself to a concoction of hormones and surgical procedures, one of the three is gruesomely murdered in an intriguing spiral of human greed, mental anguish, and medical science.

Throughout the novel North reveals how medical ethics can easily be discarded as he allows even comical, endearing characters to meet tragedy — tragedy necessary to preserve the secrets of the Van Deman Center of Reproductive Technology.

Unleashing Colter’s Hell (A National Park Thriller) by Sean Smith. Indie science/terrorism thriller set in Yellowstone.

Under the tranquil setting of Yellowstone National Park lies a killer, the world’s largest super volcano. Yellowstone erupts roughly every 600,000 years. Its next eruption is overdue, and any present explosion would destroy America and quite possibly all of civilization. Yellowstone, or Colter’s Hell, as it’s historically known, is experiencing unprecedented volcanic activity, possibly signaling a pending eruption. In Unleashing Colter’s Hell, a religious fanatic sent to the Wyoming wilderness has acquired an atomic bomb to trigger an eruption and spell the end of the United States. A lone park ranger named Grayson Cole is James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Robert Langdon rolled into one. Along with Diane Harris, a rookie FBI agent, the two are all that stand between the world and its destruction. Unleashing Colter’s Hell is a fast paced, action packed adventure. It’s a sweeping story spanning the world from North Korea, thru South America, to Yellowstone the world’s first national park. Colter’s Hell draws upon modern science, relevant history, present technology, and current events to give the story its terrifying realism.

The Soul Gene by Lynn Demarest. Indie SciFi/med thriller.

Geneticist Bailey Foster’s improbable discovery bolsters her own uncertain spirituality and changes the world.

Twenty-somethings Bailey Foster and Susan Griffin work as researchers for Bayner Genetics, a medical research lab owned by a non-scientific woman who was given the company by her dying parents. When the owner’s daughter announces she is gay, she tells Foster and Griffin she wants them to find a cure for lesbianism.

Foster bristles — homosexuality is not an illness — but Griffin, who is herself gay, cheerfully accepts the assignment, knowing all along that she’ll use the opportunity not to cure lesbianism but to secretly study her passion: Junk DNA.

The merging of Foster’s personal search for spirituality with Griffin’s scientific findings leads them to a discovery that will change people around the world, no one more than Foster and Griffin themselves.

Asylum Bound by Stuart Townsend (2012). Indie medical memoir/nonfiction.

Meet Grace, white-haired, with dementia, being admitted to the daunting asylum with an un-welcome introduction from the student nurse. Meet Percy, the crystal radio buff, with depression. Here is Harry, the Japanese ex-POW, who’s bath-time is a re-living of battles fought and Walter, with the dodgy and less than faithful, girl-friend. What about Tom, who is getting secret signs from both the Newscaster on the BBC as well as the landlady of the local pub, or Betty who won’t fit in the coffin, and needs a bit of encouragement?

But also meet Stuart, the very novice student nurse fearfully working on nights, standing there being strangled, not knowing what to do, or trying to come to grips on his first day on the ward with shaving a corpse. Learn about what goes on in the long asylum corridor & how to survive the laws of the asylum jungle. Stuart has to rely on information from the unlikeliest of sources, the Social Club hard drinkers.

Asylum Bound is a wild weird walk through the experiences of a student nurse as he enters the unknown world of the mental “asylum” of the 1970s. Within this odd place there are Hogarthian characters of varying chaotic hues, some aggressive, some sad, some disturbed and some institutionalised, both patients and staff. It is in this strange world that Stuart begins to understand the origins of psychiatry and its terrible treatments, including lobotomies, E.C.T., insulin shock and even aversion therapy for underwear snatchers.

But he finds an asylum coming to the end of any usefulness it ever once had. The patients are leaving, the staff are changing, and, thank God, the abuses are declining. It is a different world from anything he has experienced before.

For Stuart, what started as a novelty, progressed to fascination and was to end in tragedy.

It is, sadly, all true.

Sutra Symbiotix by Rahul Sen (2010). Indie science thriller out of India.

A Buddhist monk in a renowned monastery in Leh, is handed a sacred manuscript, and asked to begin a journey. The journey is not for spiritual enlightenment, but to achieve a unique physical perfection. The monk travels through the rugged mountainous terrain of the Himalayas, receives the blessings of His Holiness, and finally arrives on the shore of an exquisite lake, in the remote wilderness of Indo-Chinese border.

An embittered microbiologist resigns from a research facility in Lake District, England, and decides to use his warped brilliance for amassing material wealth. His liaison with an Indian Pharmaceutical giant almost exposes him, and he descends on a spectacular lagoon in India with his final ambition to mutate H5N1, the avian flu virus. A Frankenstein is let loose, leading to an epidemic, to which the modern science has no answer.
Will the Buddhist monk, coming down from the roof the world, be able to save the world?
A well-known English Immunologist becomes stunned after discovering an astonishing finding in the monk’s body.

It is a tale of confluence of biological science with an ancient philosophy, and a clash between the positive and negative human achievements at their best. The story also narrates about the amazing world of migratory birds, and travels through exotic locales in Europe and India. It finally witnesses the victory of innate human potential over destructive technological prowess.
The novel is based on hard scientific facts and basic tenets of Buddhism. The millennium of biotechnology has begun. This work of fiction helps the readers to have a glimpse of what future may have in store for us.


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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