THE MARBURG VIRUS by Stanley Johnson


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When Diane Verusio dies mysteriously in N.Y. after returning from Brussels, top epidemiologist Lowell Kaplan identifies the cause as the ""Marburg Virus""--a virulent germ that surfaced only once before, in 1967 Germany. So, determined to trace the source of the disease, Kaplan goes to Marburg (where the outbreak was hushed up for strange political reasons) and, while ducking bullets, traces the germ to a breed of green monkeys from Central Africa--brought, via the Brussels airport, to Europe as experimental animals. So, when Kaplan gives his data to WHO, an expedition sets out to eliminate this disease-carrying species. Meanwhile, however, Diane's sister Stephanie, a fervent anti-vivisectionist (and Kaplan's new love), is also heading for Africa--determined to save the green monkeys from extinction. And though it soon seems as if the WHO team has successfully slaughtered the green monkeys, questions and complications start arising. Did two of the monkeys escape extinction--and fall into CIA hands? (Kaplan gets wind of a CIA plan to use the monkeys for a Germ Warfare threat against the Soviets--providing that the US can develop an antidote.) Furthermore: did the WHO exterminate the wrong breed of monkeys altogether--and are the real deadly monkeys somewhere on an African mountain-top, under the care of a KGB agent/scientist Well, Stephanie goes trekking after those bona fide killer-monkeys, with Kaplan not far behind. And the windup involves some tricky double-cross espionage, not to mention everyone's agreement over the Save-the-Monkeys theme: ""What I'm saying is that all species, even apparently deadly species, should be allowed to survive."" Characteristic work from the author of The Doomsday Deposit: farfetched, cartoony, but genially bouncing with pseudo-science.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1982
Publisher: William Heinemann--dist. by David & Charles