Dr. Tessa Price lost her infant son to a rare genetic disorder. For Tessa, much more is at stake than science when she invents a radical gene therapy to save another child, seven-year old Gunnar Sigrunsson, who suffers from an equally fatal disease. When her procedure fails to gain U.S. regulatory approval, she opts to treat Gunnar at the Palacio Centro Medico, a posh international center for cutting edge medicine.
During one of her visits to the Palacio, Tessa finds Gunnar almost miraculously improved. On the same trip, chimpanzees in the animal lab seem to go mad, savagely killing one of their own. The events seem disconnected until an animal technician begins to exhibit signs of the same madness and releases the animals, despite their rabies-like symptoms, into the nearby forest.
The leader of a brutal drug cartel occupies the Palacio with his private army, while a rival cartel with modern weapons, lays siege from the outside. As the two factions exchange blows and animals attacks increase, Tessa and a small group of patients hide in the research wing, hoping to avoid detection.
Tessa realizes that the greatest threat may not be the drug lords or deranged chimps, but a revertant virus, combining elements of rabies with a bat virus that creates a rabies-like contagion that can be spread through touch, and apparently through the air. Tessa’s cell studies show that Gunnar is the host. The boy she is trying to save for the sake of personal redemption – for the fatal genes she passed to her own son – might doom everyone around him.
Reversion is the second novel of Dr. Amy Rogers, MD, PhD, who writes science thrillers, a genre one can explore in depth on her blog, sciencethrillers.com.
Amy is also a writing friend I know from the Sacramento branch of The California Writer’s Club. I posted an enthusiastic review of her first novel, Petroplague, in 2011. Once again, she has created a gripping story that parallels the headlines we read in the papers. You can find both ebook and hardcopy versions of Reversion by clicking the icon at the top of this post.