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Book Jacket

368 pages
Jan 2006
WestBow Press


by Tim Downs

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It started with a homicide – unusual only because of thousands of fleas exterminated in the room where the corpse was found. FBI agent Nathan Donovan, stationed in New York City with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, is called in because these particular fleas – found only in the Orient – can carry bubonic plague.

A refined 80-year-old Chinese gentleman offers a theory for the purpose behind the fleas’ presence in a NYC apartment, but his decades-old story holds little hard evidence. To help confirm his story, the FBI calls in Dr. Macy Monroe, a professor and government consultant who specializes in the psychology of terrorism – and who just happens to be Donovan’s ex.

As the two form a hostile truce, Li’s story continues to build credibility. Heart-rending tales produced by the horror of World War II become known as Li focuses his quest on the one man who has hurt him most and now has the power to kill millions. A race against time begins, and Donovan and Macy can no longer ignore the tragedy that tore them apart.

This book has it all – rising suspense, layered characters, thrilling action, and a powerful message. The result is a tale more memorable than a typical bioterrorism novel, one that probes deeply into characters and their motivations, making them integral to the plot rather than just along for the ride. Fans of Down’s ‘Bug Man’ novels will enjoy Nick Polchak’s brief appearance. This novel has wide appeal – readers from open-minded teens to thrill-seeking grandparents can enjoy the book at different levels. -- Katie Hart, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

New York City, July 4. Millions gather for the city's famous fireworks display. But the dazzling finale rains down a host of plague-carrying fleas to infect the city's rats and, from there, humans.

That's the horrific what-if scenario behind this spine-tingling tale.

The stakes are high when a volatile FBI agent named Nathan Baldwin, his terrorism-expert ex-wife Macy Armitstead, and a mysterious and refined Chinese Christian gentleman named Li Ming are pitted against Syrian terrorists and an elderly Japanese biological-weapons expert with a decades-old grudge.

This fast-paced read combines meticulous research, deeply human characters, a constantly shifting plot, and plenty of heartstopping action. The final, surprising twist transforms this first-rate international thriller into an unforgettable story.