"If you breathe, it will find you..."
So goes the theme of Robert Liparulo's second book, Germ, which, after his fantastic debut novel, Comes a Horseman, has refreshed the thriller genre.
In the beginning, we get a glimpse at the horrors to come: A man is dying on a bed from "one of the most lethal viruses known to man." Despesorio Vero is standing over him, pointlessly attempting to aid the man; all the nurses and assistants have run away. Karl Litt is standing by the door, smiling.
From that point onward, Robert Liparulo has devised a story so cunning and full of surprise that even the thought of putting down the book is dreadfully difficult. Suspense has met its master in this book. From page to page, it leads you down dark alleys, disease stricken lands, and finally into the belly of the beast.
Liparulo brings into this story a sense of despair while maintaining that faint glimmer of hope, which he waves in front of you teasingly. At the point when you feel as if your protagonists can't possibly make it, hope returns, though still very faintly.
You will follow them through many tough situations, but always their will to survive, and fear of what might happen if they don't keeps them afloat in the swift current of their circumstance. When Ebola threatens the lives of ten thousand people, they did what no one else could: They went to the ends of the earth (or the beginning depending on how you look at it) to stop the horrors from occurring.
Robert Liparulo has made a incomparably spectacular story in Germ.
Quote From Book
Hardly Resembling a man anymore, the thing on the bed jerked and thrashed like a nocturnal creature dragged into the light of day. His eyes had filled with blood and rolled back into his head, so only crimson orbs glared out from behind swollen, bleeding lids. Black flecks stained his lips, curled back from canted teeth and blistered gums. Blood poured from nostrils, ears, fingernails. Flung from the convulsing body, it streaked up curtains and walls and streamed into dark pools on the tile floor.
Despesorio Vero, clad in a white lab coat, leaned over the body, pushing an intratrachael tube down the patient's throat; his fingers were slick on the instrument. He snapped his head away from the crimson mist that marked each gasp and cough. His nostrils burned from the acidic tang of the sludge. He caught sight of greasy black mucus streaking the blood and tightened his lips. Having immersed his hands in innumerable body cavities--of the living and the dead--few things the human body could do or produce repulsed him. But this... He found himself at once steeling his stomach against the urge to expel his lunch and narrowing his attention to the mechanics of saving this man's life.
Read first chapter here.