A chase on horseback, no less! Now that’s a tale of adventure, danger, and, well, horsemanship. All that and a medical thriller with a deadly virus to boot! As usual with my novels, I’ve packed a lot more than just a mystery into this one. It’s got exotic locales, beautiful women, dastardly villains and, let’s see. Oh. Yes. The Greatest Mind Since Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Peyton McKean. What more could a fan of mysteries, thrillers, and, well, er, horseback chases, want? If there is anything else, forgive me for not squeezing it in.
Anyway, The Jihad Virus is published. Here’s the promotional text from the back cover, just so you’ll know what it’s all about:
A deadly microbe: When a U.S. Customs inspector at the Canadian border succumbs to a fatal viral infection, a terrifying fear becomes reality. Someone has smuggled a devastating genetically altered strain of smallpox virus into the country. But where is it? And just how lethal might it be?
A master murderer: Sheik Abdul-Ghazi, oil billionaire turned terrorist, has masterminded a plot to spread a plague that will kill millions. He and his jihadi zealots are holed up on a remote western ranch, preparing to unleash their nightmare weapon on American cities.
The greatest mind since Sherlock Holmes: As the plague’s first victims die, brilliant vaccine researcher, Dr. Peyton McKean, is enlisted by the Centers for Disease Control to track down the source of the virus and find a cure. From his lab, to a horseback chase in a hail of bullets, McKean brings to bear his keen intellect and the boldness of a born adventurer. But overcoming this threat will take more than daring. It will take a medical miracle.”
And if that doesn’t get your juices flowing, try the inside front cover teaser:
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Kay said, her voice cracking. “I’ll get straight to the point. We’ve got a seriously ill patient on our isolation ward.” She paused to draw a breath. “He’s got smallpox.”
A qualm rattled through me. Had she said smallpox? I jotted the word down, although I wasn’t likely to forget it. A medieval scene flickered across my mind — pockmarked, dead bodies piled high on oxcarts. I felt a crawling sensation at the back of my neck.
I wasn’t the only one with the creeps. Murmurs passed among the other reporters like a spreading epidemic. Nobody had expected anything so sinister. The terse public information e-mail hadn’t even vaguely hinted at this. A minute before, the video cameras and sound booms of the two TV crews had seemed like two too many. But Kay had just reset all our thinking. Now, seasoned press people whispered like bad mannered schoolchildren. Smallpox wasn’t something you could mention without causing a stir.
Smallpox. I scribbled the word on my notepad and noticed I had written it twice.”
The Jihad Virus is available in all the usual ebook forms, and as a paperback too. Look for it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and other formats. Some of these distributers have yet to list the new book, and some only list copies of the ten-year-old, out-of-print paperback edition. I’d recommend getting the new version, which I have laboriously brought up to my current writing standards, although the old paperback is basically the same story–just sometimes collector-edition priced. The new paperback version is already available from Amazon and should be available from Barnes & Noble soon.