St. Martin's, May 2004, 7.99, 416 pp.
Charles Dean pays a surprise visit to his friend Dr. James Kegan only to find the body of a young Asiatic male lying dead in his home and his buddy nowhere to be found. Dr. Kegan has worked with viruses and bacteria that could be made into weapons so a concerned Charles calls Desk Three, the super high tech covert force. The director is sufficiently worried so he sends Charlie to a scientific conference that Dr. Keegan was supposed to attend.
Once there he is kidnapped and sent to Austria where some terrorists demand that he hand over the antidote. It seems Charlie's friend developed a disease that resembles rat-bite fever that is resistant to penicillin. A second team is sent to Thailand where Dr. Kegan was studying plants indigenous to the area. The weapon has been sold to two countries that could use it as a weapon against the U.S. They must destroy the weapons that are in the hands of the terrorists and find an antidote before the disease gets loose in the general population.
Stephen Coonts and Jim De Felice have created a techno thriller that starts off fast and by the end of the book is moving at the speed of light. Although there is plenty of action with agents using high-tech gadgets, the major question that permeates the whole book is why did Dr. Kegan, a good man by all accords, create this weapon and where is he holed up. This mystery within a thriller is a prime reason that Stephen Coonts always has his reader's coming back for the next book he writes.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner