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Viral Intent: Terror in New Orleans (Alexandra Destephano Book 3) Kindle Edition
|Length: 330 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 18 - 18|
- Book 3 of 7 in Alexandra Destephano
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I liked Viral Intent. I especially liked that Judith Lucci got the setting right. She put us there in a big hospital and the hospital scenes were well written and very tense. Judith also got the police and terrorists right, and having terrorists who are international students studying at an American university is a timely detail with the current public discussion on immigration and one candidate's idea to ban all Muslim entry into our great country. With a great plot and lots of interesting characters, I found Viral Intent hard to put down. If you love terrorist stories, politics, or medical drama, then this is definitely the book for you.
About the Author
- File Size : 530 KB
- Publication Date : March 23, 2014
- Print Length : 330 pages
- Publisher : Bluestone Valley Publishing (March 23, 2014)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00J7PC69C
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #218,887 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Dr. Rocchiccioli claims in the afterword that the book was proofread by two professional editors and many other readers before publication. If so, those people should return the money she paid them. I've been teaching college composition for forty years, and I've also worked as a professional editor for many years. Trust me when I say that there are probably an average of two mistakes per page, mostly punctuation errors. Plus, has she ever looked at a real book before? When we were studying typing in the seventies using typewriters, we used half inch indents and two spaces after each sentence. But even then, in books, the convention was quarter inch indents and ONE space after sentences. Did she never learn to use a computer properly? It's not a typewriter. Also, never a space between each paragraph. As a result, the book is annoying and amateurish to read. Also, some of the quotation marks are curly and some are straight. Why? Never heard of a global change? The spacing is simply single spaced, whereas more commonly there will be at least one extra point of space after each line. These are easy, standard things professional layout editors do all the time. This is one of the big problems with self-publishing by amateurs who are not trained writers.
I expected solid medical, nursing, hospital information, but the hospital scenes are a joke. The author seems to know nothing about how quarantine of this sort would be handled in an emergency room. You certainly won't learn anything about how hospitals work from this book. And a terrorist who seems to know nothing about hospitals enters the operating room of a major hospital and roams the place, injecting a virus into EACH pack and instrument tray, and the nurses catch this the next day! And the liquid is immediately cultured and identified! (I spent three years as an OR tech, so trust me when I say that is unlikely.)
The hospital lawyer, her ex-husband, and the police commander all seem to have nothing to do but see each other. Don't they have to work? The characterization is terrible, the worst I've ever seen. Dr. Rocchiccioli seems to think characterization means hair color or nail color. We are told several dozen times that Robert still wants Alex, his ex-wife, and vice-versa. Indeed, almost everything we are told, we are told many times, such as the relationship between Alex and her grandparents.
What about the terrorists? Three or four of them want out. All the terrorists are idiots. They are all easily killed. They are stereotyped and one-dimensional.
Dr. Rocchiccioli seems to believe in an eye-rolling conspiracy theory she got from a book called "Dr. Mary's Monkey." It's not true. Her arm wasn't burned off by a linear accelerator. Come on!
The bio-terrorism viruses are unbelievable. A virus that leads to death by advanced lung cancer in a few hours? Really? There's a big nerve gas attack mixed with the magic virus, but the virus doesn't seem to do anything. Ali the terrorist virologist grad student says that he can make a gas out of the virus easily in a day. Really? The author doesn't seem to know that aerosolizing a virus is very difficult and generally doesn't work. She doesn't deal with the level of communicability, the incidence of mortality, how easily it dies, how it is passed.
Why would the Secret Service and the FBI allow senators and the president to come to a conference in the French Quarter when there is a credible threat of a terrorist attack and an active viral plague in progress and filling the emergency room and the major hospital in town is closed to newcomers. The plot is simple unbelievable.
I wish I could say this is a good book. I want it to be. I give lots of five star ratings. This book is a one star. Don't buy it.
Even more important, were the problems with characterization of the CDC, disease investigation, plotting and the science.
First of all, the CDC gets called in within the first few pages of the book based on a patient in shock and bleeding in emergency room. The ER staff jump to the conclusion that this is a viral hemorrhagic fever, which of course is true but statistically a patient in shock and bleeding with a high fever in this country has a 99.99999% chance of having toxic bacterial sepsis. The CDC would never respond to such flimsy evidence of a problem. They would instead recommend that the local and state health departments investigate first. I know, I used to work for the CDC.The CDC would NEVER get involved without the local and state health departments. The New Orleans Parish health department and the Louisiana state health department were nonexistent in this book. Also, the CDC would never send a senior section chief but rather more junior epidemiologists or EIS officers.
The whole book focuses on the identification of the virus. This may take quite a while.The proper initial approach to such an outbreak is to identify risk factors for infection and means of transmission to attempt to interrupt further transmission. There was none of that in this book. We also heard nothing about all the healthcare workers who were exposed to the initial cases. Did they not get sick? Why not?
There were several plot problems. Why would Homeland security, the Secret Service, FBI, etc. allow the President to travel to a city where there was a severe
viral outbreak and known terrorists at large? Also, it's stated in the book that these Federal agencies knew who the terrorists were and where they were in New Orleans but did nothing about it except observe them!! Why wouldn't we immediately go after them and snuff them out!
Some of the medical science in this book
was ridiculous. That a terrorist could come up with a complete "antidote" to this horrible virus in a day or so, is preposterous. It is never explained exactly what the antidote is whether an antiviral drug, antibody, etc. Also that a cancer could cause a pseudo-pneumonia and kill a patient in a day or two is also preposterous. Authorities in the book frequently referred to the virus as mutating. How could they be sure of that without the virus having been identified and characterized?
Miscellaneous issues: Too much of the story deals with the social relationships among the main characters, their dinner parties, attraction for each other, etc. - Much more of the story should be dealing with the actual disease outbreak investigation. The protagonist really did nothing to solve the virus outbreak in a proactive way. The characters were stereotypes. The women were all stunningly beautiful, the men all strikingly handsome except for the cartoonish idiotic mayor with a comb-over.
Two stars is a generous rating for this novel.
Top reviews from other countries
Judith is clearly very knowledgeable about medicine and so using her knowledge and experience she has come up with the story of an unknown illness in which people are bleeding through their eyes and other orifices. It is set in New Orleans. Ebola is ruled out. The virus is mutating fast. 'It's making 9/11 look like child's play'. Will they be able to contain it? And to make matters worse the President and senators are expected in New Orleans for a convention. The matter has to be dealt with quick.
Meanwhile there are a series of mysterious murders in the city to solve. There are no clues, no murder weapons and crucially no blood at the scene. They are named the St Germaine murders after a nobleman in New Orleans roamed the street feasting on blood in the 17th.
Who is responsible and what is causing the deaths? Find out in this gripping read.
Enjoyed the story and, as usual, able to follow the medical references.
Crescent City Medical Center has had its share of troubles, but nothing can compare to a deadly unknown viral attack. Again, Hospital Lawyer Alex Destephano tackles this new threat head on with her usual gusto and guile. With the help of Jack Francoise, top cop of NOPD they try to piece together a complex puzzle that threatens not just all of New Orleans but the President, who happens to be visiting.
The author cleverly mixes high tech planning from CDC, FBI and Secret Service with the cynical and callous actions of the terrorists. I especially enjoyed the character of the mysterious Russian. Well done to the author for establishing a great mystery character within all the mayhem.
This medical thriller rates up there with the best that there is to offer and if you like your books fast-paced, high tech, guns ablazing with mystery too, then this book will satisfy all your needs.
A FIVE STAR thriller that is highly recommended.
I found the descriptions of the medical environment extremely detailed and real (my parents both work in a hospital so I know how easy is to give a wrong idea of the medical/disease matters). The plot is quite tangled and the rhythm is very fast-pace.
The main character - Alexandra Destephano - is well fleshed out and as a woman I can totally sympathise with herself and her tiny little weaknesses.