This thriller deals with the real possibility of terrorists using germ warfare as a threat against whatever target appeals at the moment. Anyone who believes that germ warfare is unlikely should read, for example, the news about current problems at the Centers for Disease Control that required closures of two laboratories: Live anthrax bacteria were mistakenly transferred to an unsuspecting laboratory, endangering the lives of workers; and a benign flu was accidentally contaminated with the dangerous H5N1 bird flu strain. In addition, vials of live smallpox virus were recently discovered in a cabinet at the National Institutes of Health, where they had been stored since the 1950’s.The threat is scary and real. “Antidote” begins at a slow pace, entertaining in a this-isn’t-bad-and-I’ve-nothing-else-to-do kind of way, but becomes a page-turner about the time that the Chechin is introduced. Lonergan clearly knows a lot about microbiology and about the technology of growing and weaponizing pathogenic agents. He is adept at describing people and places, and he has written a compellingly frightening and believable story. The end leaves unanswered questions and curiosity unfulfilled; could there be a sequel? Although my reading pleasure was disturbed somewhat by typos and errors in consistency, I do indeed look forward to reading that sequel.
I LOVE this book. It’s an excellently executed and intellectually satisfying political thriller with a scientific twist. If you’re a fan of James Patterson or Michael Crichton, I would highly recommend “Antidote”.
Interesting idea for a 21st century thriller. Lonergan obviously knows his subject and tells his story it in a way that the reader must consider the possibility of bacteria warfare as a real threat. Well written; I found it difficult to put the book down. If you like James Patterson, you’ll like Antidote. Hopefully there will be a sequel.
Antidote is about the very real danger that, in the future, bacteria can be used as weapons of terror. In this story, a group of Soviet Georgians develop a strain of common bacteria and create an epidemic against the Russian High Command. Robert Cook, a microbiologist in La Jolla helps track down the perpetrators through France, Moscow and the Georgian republic. The novel features the sights, sounds and tastes of those lands, while bringing in enough science to interest the lay reader who likes a galloping thriller…