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Coming Flu Paperback – June 29, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
J. L. GREGER has been a scientist, professor, textbook writer, and uni - versity administrator. Now she is a writer of fiction who inserts glimpses of scientific breakthroughs and tidbits about universities into her medical mysteries and suspense novels. The inspiration for the Japanese Chin Bug in Coming Flu is her real dog Bug. She and Bug live in the American Southwest.
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Those are the reasons we read - and enjoy - books like COMING FLU. We have seen hints of such epidemics with the real life H1N1 scare, of the future of global change with the devastation brought about by Hurricane Sandy, with the ability of bacteria to mutate and change in response to antibiotic overuse. So we know the events described in COMING FLU are entirely possible (with the probable exclusion of the crime subplot, which could have taken place in any closed-off environment). Why do we enjoy reading about them, then? Two reasons: as said above, just because it could happen doesn't mean it will; and the stories have happy endings. Or, at least, hopeful ones.
Why didn't I give this book 5-stars? I would have liked to have seen fewer technical and lengthy scientific explanations, and a lot more character development. I found it difficult to care about a character whose name is mentioned once or twice and then dies.
But most of us love being scared in our fiction; it helps us keep our real fears in perspective. So I recommend COMING FLU to anyone who does want something else to worry about.
It was hard for me to put this book down. I would strongly recommend it.
While the work is fiction, it reads with a realism that sends shivers down the spine when the reader realizes this is something that could actually happen. Gregor explores the human aspect, how the characters react to being forced into isolation and quarantined in the community as people begin dying around them, and also provides insight into the sometimes harsh government response to such an epidemic.
The novel also contains science. I'll fully admit I am science-challenged, and a passage or two may have gone over my head, but it did not detract from the book at all. This was a quick read as I couldn't wait to see what was going to come up next.
Gregor effortlessly combines aspects of a medical thriller with more traditional mystery/thriller elements to create a hybrid that is a thoroughly entertaining read.