The Cobra Event by Richard Preston ReviewRandom House., Nov., 1997.
352 pp. ISBN: 0679457143
Two mysterious and sudden deaths have occurred with the same violent symptoms. Alice Austen, a young doctor with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is sent to investigate. The victims both died of an attack of self-cannibalism and extreme damage to the brain and central nervous system, following symptoms like that of the common cold. After more violent deaths, Austen eventually finds enough evidence to pinpoint a definite outbreak of an unknown virus which is being intentionally spread by an unknown offender. This gets national security involved, and a task force code-named "Cobra" launches into action. The race is on to to diagnose the deadly disease and discover the murderer, before the rest of the dangerous virus is released into New York City.
The Cobra Event is a frightening, thrilling and fascinating novel. While providing a believable fictional story of the dangers of genetically engineered bioweapons, it also provides insight and realistic theories as to why the U.S. is so concerned with biological weapons facilities in Iraq and Russia and why the U.S. has fallen behind other nations in this "field". Preston's fictional work showcases what realistically may be a serious problem the human race has to face in our generation's lifetime. The horrifying and shocking depictions of the effects on humans of viral menaces will be burned into readers' minds. A must-read for anyone who enjoys medical thrillers, science fiction or save-the-world adventures.
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