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eBook formateBook, (torrent)En
File size5.9 Mb
Book rating4.68 (109 votes)
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Yet again, I liked reading a Ken McClure novel. The Sci-Med agency of this novel, and the protagonist Dr. Adam Dewar, are apparent precursors to the author's subsequent Steven Dunbar series.

In this book, the plot revolves around seemingly unconnected events - the death of a Iraqi by a disease that resembles smallpox, and the suicide of an Iraqi research student in Scotland who happened to be working with fragments of smallpox DNA. When Sci-Med sends Dewar to investigate, initially he too seems to conclude that nothing is amiss, but soon starts to get a hunch that perhaps there is more to these two deaths. Especially with two suspicious Iraqi nationals being present in Edinburgh for no apparent reason. This leads to make him think that perhaps Iraqi's are trying to get hold of smallpox virus to use it as a biological weapon. Despite the suicide of the Iraqi student, who seemed to be their only chance of resurrecting the extinct smallpox virus, the continued presence of the Iraqi's makes Dewar deduce that the game is not yet over, and that the baddies are still on the prowl for the virus through some other source. The story development upto this mark takes up 55% of the book; then suddenly at 56% (by Kindle) people start getting infected with the actual smallpox virus. From then on, the city witnesses a daily increase in the number of the infected, as well as an almost 50% death rate. Thus begins the final race to not only contain the epidemic, the rioting and potential anarchy, but to also find and stop the alternate source from handing over the virus cultures to the Iraqis.

Though the plot is exciting and the overall novel entertaining, and indeed scary to think of it in reality, I found the narrative to be a little disjointed. Many individual events occur, right from the horrible pus oozing death of the Iraqi near the Saudi border, to the suicide of the Iraqi student, to various minute developments at the research lab in Edinburgh. Though all of it culminates reasonably well towards the end, the plot could have been kept simpler instead of asking the reader to keep mental track of multiple small events. Also, for the given plot, 350 plus pages is too long; the novel will be smashingly good were it to be about 80-100 pages shorter.

Finally, as I say for every McClure novel- his English language narrative is fantastically classical, smooth and pleasurable.

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