By: George Hamilton
* I received a free e-copy of this book from http://www.librarything.com in exchange for a fair and honest review. *
* This review contains minor spoilers *
This book is a timely read. Currently there is an ebola outbreak in Africa and it has people thinking and worrying about the possibility of a global pandemic.
The disease for which this book takes it’s name is known as “Philippine Viral Disease” or “Philippine Haemorrhagic Fever.” It was named this because it is believed to have originated in the Philippines.
“Within weeks it had spread to every corner of the planet, mainly through human contact, but it was also thought via animal hosts.”
This story is set in an Eastern country (sounding similar to Russia) that is ruled by President Emile Sakovich. His faithful followers refer to him as “Papa President.” The disease has already claimed over two hundred thousand lives in their country in the past year. Other countries, like the United States have over 3 million dead and China has lost more than 12 million people to the disease.
Dr. Ludmilla Toropov is a good citizen, a recipient of the Gold Cross and is a “Daughter of the Nation.” All she wants from her life is to have a good relationship with her University student daughter, Olga and to help her patients.
When the President announces that his scientists have discovered a vaccine for PVD that not only prevents people from catching the disease, but also cures those who already have the disease, the medical community rejoices.
The government sends small amounts of the vaccine to each doctor along with a list of people that are to receive the allotted doses. Dr. Toropov is surprised to find that her name is not on the list of those who will receive the first dose. However, like the good citizen that she is, she follows the directions she has been given.
It quickly becomes clear that the discovery of the vaccine will not be shared with the rest of the world. The United States has long had sanctions in place against the country and Dr. Toropov believes that the President will use the vaccine as leverage to have the sanctions lifted.
Meanwhile, her estranged daughter Olga has joined a group of student protesters who oppose President Sakovich’s rule. Dr. Toropov fears not only for her daughter’s health, but also for her safety.
Using contacts she made many years ago on an exchange trip to the United States, Dr, Toropov takes matters into her own hands and delivers a sample of the vaccine to an American colleague. Her hope is that with America’s vast resources, they will be able to quickly replicate and distribute the vaccine worldwide.
What her American colleague finds upon examination of the vaccine is unsettling at best and sinister at worst.
As the story progresses we learn more about the vaccine and about the government’s plans.
Mystery and intrigue abound in this gripping and sinister tale.
Not only is it a story about a disease, but it is also a story about political corruption, dictatorships and the quest for power by evil men who don’t care how many bodies they need to tread on to achieve their goals.
It is also a story about family and the love of a mother for her child and the lengths to which people will go to protect their children.
The scariest aspect of this book is it’s believability. The existence of a global pandemic is inevitable. The world we live in is ripe for the spread of a disease exactly like the one in this book.
The country where this story takes place sounds eerily similar to present day Russia and President Sakovich sounds suspiciously like Putin. It is not so far fetched that something similar to this story could actually occur.
This book deserves to be rated as 5 out of 5 stars.
I highly recommend reading this tale. George Hamilton has mastered the art of story building and readers will be instantly drawn into his world.