Forge, Sep 2001, 25.95, 320 pp.
In Gaithersburg, Maryland, lab technician Su Thom knows his company, SeaGenesis Pharmaceutical is nearing a cure for malaria. Though rarely seen in the United States, this deadly disease haunts the third world so that more people die from it than AIDS and that includes members of Su Thom's family. The firm abruptly halts the tests on the potential cure, dubbed “Popeye” because it looks like spinach though extracted from sea sponges. Angered and very frustrated Su Thom decides to bring home the nightmare of malaria by cultivating the disease and releasing it in Washington DC.
SeaGenesis scientist Zee Aspen and security expert Connor Gale wonder why so many accidents are associated with the “Popeye” project. They join forces and quickly realize the CIA is involved with the pharmaceutical company, but do not know why. As this duo steps closer to the truth, Su Thom proceeds towards unleashing a pandemic horror on America unless the two intrepid “investigators” learn enough about his plot to stop him.
With the West Nile Virus making headlines and though preferring to ignore the terrorizing theme, readers will accept as authentic the basic premise of THE MOSQUITO WAR. The realistic story line is fast-paced and enticing in a voyeuristic manner as the audience will enjoy accompanying Zee under the sea, but preferring to keep a malaria epidemic at a distance. The look at the impact of the disease on innocent victims actually slows down the tale even as it adds depth to the horror that V.A. MacAlister describes. This is a strong biological thriller that will open many eyes that would prefer to remain shut.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner