Pocket, Apr 2002, 25.00, 406 pp.
On Corfu, a wealthy artifact collector Nikos seeking the DNA of Jesus opens up a twenty-century-old artifact. He has unleashed Pandora's box containing an extinction event in the form of an airborne plague, last seen early in the first century. All die who come into contact with this particular disease.
Desperate to find a cure to halt the pandemic plague that threatens mankind, a scientific task force gathers at Los Alamos. However, the brilliant group is divided. The purists who want to save humanity are led by twenty years old Miranda Abbott. On the other side are egomaniac Edward Cavendish and his supporters who want to turn earth into their playground with human clones serving as guinea pigs.
Archeologist Nathan Lee Swift has fallen from grace as he turned from promising student into grave robber in his mentor's quest to find the historical Jesus. He has a chance at redemption through Miranda if they can access a Corfu-resistant gene from those in the first century who managed to survive the first deadly run. Could Edward's cloning provide such a specimen?
YEAR ZERO is an action-packed apocalyptic thriller that has two prime story lines that eventually merge into an exciting climax. Neither plot slows down as the audience observes a tale at hyperspeed, which means the key charcaters are either too perfectly good or corrupt. Fans of taut end of the world thrillers will want to read Jeff Long's tale that leaves the audience captivated into a one sitting read in spite of the length of the novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner