Book Review: The Gabon Virus

3 Feb


An ancient disease, a modern pandemic, and the one person who offers hope for a cure has been dead for 350 years

In 1666, a horrible disease took the lives of almost every person in Eyam (pronounced Eem), England. Helping the sick and the dying was the mysterious and ghostlike Blue Monk, whose strange appearance terrified even those who were comforted by him.

More than three centuries later the disease has returned, more virulent than before. Every day more people are infected; every hour more die.

The lives of millions rest in the hands of a bio-team — the Time Scene Investigators — that studies history to find cures for modern diseases. But the newest member of the team, Dr. Mark Carlson, has suffered a heartbreaking loss.

With every tick of the clock the world approaches a global pandemic. A race against time becomes a race across continents — to find a frightened boy who is carrying and spreading the disease wherever he goes, to thwart the machinations of corporate greed and fanatical sabotage, and to find the connection between a great tragedy of the past and a potential catastrophe of the present. Our present.

This book may become tomorrow’s headline.

Chapter One

Paul McCusker is the Peabody Award winning writer and director of the audio drama Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom and of the multiple award-winning audio dramatizations of The Chronicles of NarniaLes MiserablesA Christmas CarolLittle Women,and his original series The Luke Reports (just nominated for the Audie Awards’ Best Audio Drama) and The Father Gilbert Mysteries (also nominated for the Audie Awards’ best production award).

He is also a writer and director for the long-running children’s program Adventures in Odyssey, writing not only over 250 audio episodes, but also scripting two of the animated video series and eighteen spin-off novels.  For adults, McCusker has written the Gold Medallion?nominated Epiphany, The Mill House, and A Season of Shadows. His plays and musicals have been performed in community theatres across the country—one, A Time for Christmas, was a Dove Award nominee. McCusker currently has over thirty books in print, including the TSI series he is co-authoring with Walt Larimore, MD. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Walter L. Larimore, MD, has been called one of “America’s best-known family physicians” and listed in “Distinguished Physicians of America,” “The Best Doctors in America,” and “Who’s Who in America.” As a medical journalist, he has hosted the award-winning cable TV show Ask the Family Physician on Fox’s Health Network (1995-2000) and the nationally distributedFocus on Your Family’s Health radio and TV features (2001-2005). As an award-winning writer, he was awarded the 2004 Christianity Today Book Award for co-writing Going Public with Your Faith: Becoming a Spiritual Influence at Work. He has been a Gold Medallion Book Award finalist three times—for the Going Public book and small-group video series, as well as his book The Highly Healthy Child.  He also authored the popular Bryson City Tales books and co-authored the TSI series with Paul McCusker. He lives in Monument, Colorado.

My Impressions:

The Gabon Virus by Paul McCusker and Walt Larrimore, MD, is the first book in their TSI (Time Scene Investigators) series.  I began the series backwards — I read The Influenza Bomb first.  It was so good I just had to go back and read the first novel. The GabonVirus did not disappoint, it was better!

A deadly strain of Ebola has been unleashed in the jungle of Gabon.  Is it the result of an arrogant pharmaceutical company’s research gone amok, or is it just part of an eco-terrorist group’s agenda to rid the world of humans?  A team made up of forensic pathologists, virologists, Interpol agents, and the US military must take on the crisis to find a cure before the virus reaches pandemic levels.

I was describing this book to my husband, who kept rolling his eyes.  What, I demanded, was his problem?  He said, how could anyone find a book about researchers suspenseful!  Well, I did!  McCusker and Larrimore combine great writing with actual medical research.  The reader gets swept up in the urgency of the crisis as well as the detailed information about retrieving evidence from the present and the past.  TSI refers to the fact that the group looks at historical epidemics in order to solve present-day outbreaks.

The TSI series combines fast paced action with great characterization.  The research is impeccable, and the spiritual aspect is thought-provoking.  Pick up The Gabon Virus and The Influenza Bomb.  But get ready for some sleepless nights – because you just can’t put them down!

Highly Recommended.

(I received an ARC of The Gabon Virus from Christian Review of Books in return for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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