4 (713 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Audio cassette
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Product details

  • Audio cassette
  • ISIS Publishing
  • ISIS Audio Books
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 075311559X
  • 9780753115596

Review Text

Peter May begins by telling the reader that the science in this book 'is real and only too possible' and certainly the science is one of the most gripping elements of this frighteningly exciting thriller - appropriately for a novel which features a pathologist as one of its central characters. Margaret Campbell is called in to investigate the deaths of a truckload of illegal Chinese immigrants. Working alongside her is the Chinese police officer Li Yan, with whom she once had a passionate relationship which was ended by a clash of their cultures. It emerges that the tragic cargo were carrying a modified form of the Spanish flu virus which killed more people in 1918 than died in the Great War; the virus will be activated by an unknown trigger in the environment, potentially infecting millions of Americans before destroying the rest of humanity. As Margaret and Li search for the 'snakehead' responsible for bringing in the illegal immigrants, their old relationship flares up again. The scientific premise of the thriller is based on the discovery in the late 1990s of the previously unidentified virus which had caused the Spanish flu epidemic, and Peter May chillingly speculates on the effects of the virus were it to reappear today with modern transport systems and more mobile populations. May, whose fourth thriller with a Chinese theme this is, sets this intriguing possibility in the context of the Chinese community in the United States. The threat of biological warfare is obviously topical, as is the plight of illegal immigrants. May gives the immigrants a human face and gains our sympathy for them through the discovery of a diary written by Wang, an undercover policeman caught up in their plight. An excellent thriller. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

713 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 32% (226)
4 44% (312)
3 19% (138)
2 4% (26)
1 2% (11)
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