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Last week Influenza-A took down all three of our kids. They were so sad, lying around in their pajamas, fighting fevers, watching movies, eating applesauce, coughing and napping at all hours of the day. They were clearly not their normal, busy, active selves.

Despite my best efforts to separate them and bleach-clean every surface of the house, the virus spread from child to child. But that’s what a virus does. They are experts at multiplying and finding new hosts to inhabit. Plenty of blockbusters and top-sellers have been created about the damage an aggressive virus can do, so if you like medical thrillers about world-wide pandemics and the heroes that stop them, here are two I recommend to you:

JerkA Jerk, A Jihad, and a Virus by Gary F. Jones

Veterinary virologist Jason Mitchell can’t keep his mouth shut, can’t lie convincingly, and can’t follow orders. He’s an unlikely candidate to help the CIA locate and destroy a deadly hybrid virus stolen from Jason’s lab at the University of Minnesota. From Washington to Djibouti, From Minneapolis to Yemen, Marines cringe, Senators turn livid, and CIA agents shudder as Jason struggles to prevent the virus from becoming a biological weapon in the hands of jihadists.

Jason and Ann Hartman, veterinarians, lovers, and graduate students, conduct a study of BCV in calves, a common virus that causes diarrhea in cattle. A recently arrived Chinese student accidentally exposes the calves to the SARS virus, a close relative of BCV. The calves and the Chinese student develop a severe and puzzling pneumonia. The Center for Disease Control isolates a hybrid BCV-SARS virus from the Chinese student and the calves. The FBI is notified of the new and dangerous virus.

Ahmed, more con man than graduate student, discovers samples of Jason’s that contain the virus. He steals them and flees to Yemen where he pretends to be a devout Muslim to get funding from a jihadist group. The jihadists believe the virus will be valuable as a biological weapon and as bait to lure the CIA into military action that will kill innocent civilians and increase hatred of the US. Jason and an unconventional CIA agent redefine “thinking outside the box” as they con Ahmed, dodge bullets, and thwart the jihadists.

bloodBlood of the White Bear by Marcia Calhoun Forecki and Gerald Schnitzer

Dr. Rachel Bisette is drawn to the Four Corners to lead the search for a vaccine against a lethal pandemic. One elusive indigenous woman, Eva Yellow Horn, carries the gift of immunity. In her search for Eva, Rachel discovers power beyond science, the secret of an environmental disaster, and the truth of her parents’ death.


All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available on Amazon, B&N, or can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore.