Thanks to Carl Brookins for another terrific review….
by Peter May
Poisoned Pen Press
Hardcover, 312 pages,
This is the ourth in the author’s China Thriller series to be published by this press. Make no mistake this is one scary and thrilling book. So thrilling, in fact I had the sense toward the end of being carried just a bit over the top. The novel brings back two of May’s most endearing characters, forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell, American, and Beijing detective, Li Yan. But they are no longer in China. Campbell is now the county medical examiner based in Houston, Texas, and Li Yang is learning about and dealing with America’s multiple and complex law enforcement agencies as a member of the Chinese Embassy staff in Washington, D.C.
Until a major tragedy brings them together, Campbell is not even aware that they are again in the same country although still thousands of miles physically and culturally apart. The tragedy that brings these two together are the deaths of scores of illegal Chinese immigrants being smuggled to the United State via the same pipeline and organization which smuggles drugs from South America to the U.S. In this incident, the dead are found in a refrigerated truck abandoned in Texas. Those deaths appear to be accidental until it is discovered the bodies have all been injected with a dangerous virus that has no known antidote.
Now the race is on to determine what the virus is, who is behind the multi-million dollar smuggling operation, the Snakehead of the title, and Li Yan and Margaret must try to set aside their own emotional difficulties in order to help literally, save the nation from a devastating plague.
The pace is fast, the writing always to the point, the characters are genuine in their language and their emotions, and most worrisome of all, the science is real. This is a novel with the potential to scare the pants off you. It’s timely, international in scope, a whirlwind of a thriller.
NOTE: My publisher for Play it Again, Sam, Uncial Press, is celebrating its fifth year in operation, and it all ends tomorrow. To join in the fun with a scavenger hunt and have a chance at winning a KOBO reader, visit the website.
Another contest is being held by Books We Love Publishing. Enter between now and December to win a Kindle.