A group of American soldiers tracks a maniacal terrorist in possession of a biochemical weapon.
Ensign George Anders is positioned at the front of a global crisis in this military thriller set during the first Gulf War. Fluent in multiple languages and versed in military intelligence, Anders is less experienced in the field of combat. He’ll need to employ his skills to track down and detain Fahkir Kaseem, a dangerous terrorist intent on methodically destroying the West with a genetic weapon. Aiding Anders is a team of battle-hardened soldiers, warriors ready to provide access to any secure site he needs. At the same time, across the Middle East and into Eastern Europe, the other half of the story unfolds. Russian scientist Annelia Salenski, feeling at fault for a laboratory accident, is charged with stealing the only existing plans for this devilish bio-weapon. Little does she realize that her colleagues, intent on fleeing a crumbling Russia, will later become her enemies in this global drama. The weapon in question is a compound called Satan’s Sister, which combines two vicious filoviruses that not only work in tandem, but cancel each other out once released, thereby avoiding detection. But this combination of smallpox and the Marburg virus is not a weapon in the conventional sense–it actually alters its victims’ personalities according to a pre-established formula, thereby calling into question how humans evolve and what is truly predetermined. This main premise–the debate about evolution and intelligent design–seems overambitious, and the story could be just as enjoyable as a conventional action-adventure. The Navy SEAL team that Anders joins is stocked with stereotypical characters, but Reed brings them to life through vivid physical descriptions and realistic dialogue, absorbed during his time in the military. The Cold War setting might feel dated to some readers, but the story neatly segues into a chilling present. Readers in the know will remember that the Soviet Union performed research on similar compounds for use as weapons, which makes this story all the more compelling.
An all-around enjoyable novel for fans of medical, military or global-espionage thrillers.