Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Microbe by Bill Clem

In Microbe, Bill Clem combines science, history and an adrenaline-pumping plot to create a frightening science fiction thriller that is all too plausible. Government cover-ups, assassination, greed and alien virus make this one suspenseful adventure.

Continental Oil is the first company to drill a new site off the coast of Delaware. They hit something and they assume it is a sunken ship but the men become ill and only hours later they are all dead. Charlie Parson is fishing off the coast of Lewes and one of the men in his party boat pulls up a deformed fish covered with green phosphorescent gunk. Five miles away another boat pulls in a net of dead fish numbering in the thousands.

Across the country, in Scottsdale, Arizona Justin Flannigan, a private practice internist is sitting in his office at the local hospital. He's getting ready for morning rounds when there's a knock at his door. His visitor is John Singleton, a former colleague who he used to work with at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. He has a strange question for Justin- do you believe in UFO's and government conspiracies? Intrigued, Justin agrees to join the investigation in Delaware. No one can identify the disease and an old man comes to Justin with an incredible story. Back in the forties, Retired Colonel Billy Riordan, of the U.S. Armed Forces, used to be the Commander of the 33rd Prd, Pathological Research Division. He claims to know something about the mysterious virus that is becoming more deadly by the minute. Can Justin believe him or is it just the ramblings of an eccentric old man?

The Andromeda Strain is one of my all time favorites, so I eagerly anticipated reading a book with a similar premise. I wasn't disappointed. Microbe is every bit as exciting, minus the scientific overload that tends to bog down a story. The book is heavy on plot as opposed to characterization - and the plot is tight and fast moving. Clem uses short action packed chapters to keep the pages turning - and turn they did. I finished the book in record time.

I'm looking forward to the sequel, Pathogen, which is due to be released in early December. We'll be seeing more of Justin Flannigan who will face an even deadlier menace this time.

Publisher: Vision Books (August 15, 2007)

ISBN: 978-0979580819

Paperback: 232 Pages

Price: $12.95

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