The Deadliest Strain
Mira, Jan 2008, $13.95
The family of four and their dog were on vacation on an isolated island in Moosehead Lake, Maine with only one other family of three and a canine there. One week later the seven on the island, the owner of the two cabins, and two emergency technicians are dead as well as the two dogs. They are victims of extremely rapid necrotizing fasciitis bacteria that ate their organs in under 24 hours. Fear is that the disease will continue to concentrically spread wider as no one knows how it got there in such an isolated locale or by whom, and worse how to stop it as Homeland Security assumes a bioterrorist attack occurred.
The hope for a cure resides in a CIA secret prison. Kurd Dr. Rahaf Banaz accidentally invented the bacteria weapon and risked her life to find an antidote. The CIA holds her indefinitely, but she remains locked inside her head not willing to communicate with anyone. HSD Intel Officer and offensive biological weapons expert Austyn Newman hope to persuade the unresponsive Rahaf into helping them. There are only three problems with their scenario. First terrorists want the deadly bacteria to use on large populations; second there is no known cure; and third the female prisoner incarcerated by the CIA is not Rahaf, but instead is her non scientist sister Fahimah.
This is an exhilarating action-packed thriller that grips the audience the moment that the dog Trouble finds the decomposed corpses of the other vacationing family and never slows down until the climax. The scenario is frightening and worse plausible, especially as innocent people and the canines are the early victims. Fans will find THE DEADLIEST STRAIN fascinating while praying biological warfare never comes to pass. Although the ending seems too contrived, no one will leisurely be drinking coffee while reading this spine-tingling tale.