SciThri new releases: September 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:

Green Power by Charles Vrooman. Indie science thriller.

After the renowned microbiologist Dr. Ray Pendleton leads a demonstration to close down Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant, Ray

is assaulted by two of Dirk Hendrickson’s fellow Delta Valley militiamen. Ray survives the beating and is motivated to set up methane digesters as an alternative source of electrical power for Lodi dairies.

Dirk’s continued attacks on the professor and his projects result in a life-threatening epidemic pointing to one of Ray’s methane lagoons as the cause. The infected patients are admitted to UC Davis Medical Center. Linda McCord, a lab tech at the hospital and former student of Dr. Pendleton, works with Ray to hopefully prove that the methane power source is not the cause of this spreading disease. Both Ray and Linda develop a romantic relationship while working together. Linda is devastated when Ray develops a serious infection from the bacterium causing the epidemic.

Mindfront by Dave Becker (Sept. 2012). Indie thriller with neuroscience.

After uncovering a universal code in the brain waves of all living things that could revolutionize psychology, Martin Keller wakes one morning to find himself covered in blood, surrounded by his butchered family. Convinced he’s being framed by a diabolical organization set on stealing or sabotaging his work, he dodges a multi-agency manhunt that pursues him from the seediest corners of DC to the highest offices of government. Struggling to stay alive and find his family’s killer, Marty soon finds himself lost in a maze of conspiracies and paranoia, and eventually begins to doubt his own sanity. How can he find the truth when he doesn’t know what’s real?

Anti-Sentient by Linda J. Butler (2012). Indie biosci/horror.

Strange things are happening in Los Angeles: a vintage guitar shop owner finds a strange woman lingering near his shop as he closes up for the night; a homeless man attacks a waitress returning home from the late shift; the residents of a West Los Angeles apartment complex are awoken in the middle of the night to discover a group of strange people attacking a man in the building’s courtyard. In each instance the attackers move slowly and unsteadily, with eyes that are milky white and teeth like razors. Similar events are happening all over the city. Videos of the attacks have begun to filter onto the internet. The media is blaming the outbreak of violence on terrorists. The actual cause is far more insidious.

The only hope to stopping the outbreak can be found at the headquarters of Nardock International, a drug research company secretly testing a new gene therapy, Anti-Sentient 6, on human subjects. Inside the headquarters’ walls, a test subject has begun to metamorphosize into a creature, devoid of humanity. The fate of the City of Angels, and perhaps mankind, depends on what happens within the next few hours.

Death on a Thin Horse by Candice M. Hughes (Sept. 2012). Indie futurist/SF science thriller.

Baltimore City, the United Major States: Senator Cutter (“The Prophet”), follower of Protestant Reformer Martin Luther, founder of an Evangelical Christian church and a Presidential candidate, orders the release of a weaponized virus onto a city street.

Boston, the Outlands: biogeneticist, Meara Flannagan, cures an SIV infected Rhesus monkey with a biotherapy that rewrites DNA in minutes. When her Corp reassigns the drug to her nemesis, Meara steals the formula and flees to the outlaw territories. Sebastian Gates is a saxophone player and hired gun ordered to hunt her. Success is assured until he realizes the job comes with complications. Complications like an attraction to Meara and evasion of a laser-toting assassin who can look like Jackie Onassis one day and Jackie Chan the next.

The Senator, Meara and Sebastian are on a collision course— unwitting players in a zero sum game where China and India will destroy anything and anyone in their path to possess what remains of the former United States. Meara and Sebastian are the only hope— for each other and for their country.

Intervention by W.R.R. Munro (2012). Indie futurist/SF thriller.

It’s April 2033. Drought and water wars ravage Africa, and heat-waves kill tens of thousands in Europe. Famine sweeps across Asia after the monsoon fails, and the United States struggles with massive social upheaval following decades of economic malaise.

Ayden Walker is a young field researcher. It’s his job to limit the damage to the environment from climate change, greed or plain incompetence. He’s also part of the virtual BioWatch community where he works to hold those responsible to account. As such, he has little patience for people who rush to commercialise genetically modified organisms before the risks are properly understood.

So he is appalled when he meets William Hanford and learns that, decades ago, their parents were involved in illegal genetic experimentation.

But what he learns next shakes the very foundations of his existence.

He isn’t given time to deal with it though. Ayden stumbles across something that could change the course of humanity if he doesn’t stop it… but he’s not so sure he should. People are consuming without thought, placing unbearable loads on the planet’s resources and playing havoc with the world’s climate. Perhaps truly radical action could be justified.

“Let’s say I’ve got a vial of this perfect stuff in my pocket. Do we campaign for a worldwide vote we know will never happen—or do I just open it?”

But he isn’t the only one contemplating the question. Someone has him under surveillance and it becomes clear they have no intention of allowing him to interfere. Ayden is forced to seek an uneasy alliance with US military intelligence as he hunts for the truth.

Then Ayden discovers that his adversary will kill to keep his secrets.


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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