(Joe Rush #4)


James Abel


“Mutation is, by definition, always a surprise.”

If you are not already scared into agoraphobia by the threat of the Zika virus, Lyme disease, and skin cancer, James Abel’s book will make you afraid to leave your house or at least make you clothe yourself from head to toe and top that off with a couple layers of bug spray.

Vector is a chilling exercise that imagines the results of a terror organization’s ability to weaponize an everyday annoyance we barely notice here in the United States. It is terrifying how easy Abel makes it seem to create, distribute and disperse such a weapon.

The book starts with Joe Rush and his partner, Eddie, travelling the Amazon. Except that Eddie is missing, Joe is being followed, his guide is less than trustworthy and a large number of malaria-stricken individuals have disappeared from their homes.

Things go terribly wrong for Joe at the same time that events are going awry quietly and steadily in the United States. A terrorist’s threat is delivered, the government is blackmailed, hard decisions are made. (Some of the most terrifying moments in the book stem from the decisions of people in power and the reasoning behind those decisions.)

“Presidents say they will not make deals with enemies, but they do. Kennedy faced down the Russians during the Cuban Missile Crisis. But behind the scenes he pulled U.S. missiles from Turkey. Nixon said he’d never talk to North Vietnam. He sent a rep there at the same time.”

When the two story lines intersect, the action comes quick and fast.

The pacing of this book is just what you want in a thriller. The science was written in a believable and easy to understand way. And the ending does not disappoint.

I will definitely be going back to read the first in the Joe Rush series, White Plague.

(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)

Rating: 87/100

Buy it July 25, 2017.