Harvey "Ben" Bennett is a park ranger at Yellowstone National Park. While out on a seemingly routine re-home of a bear that got a little too close for comfort, a bomb goes off in the park, killing his partner on the job. Bennett is soon thrust into an ongoing investigation into a new "bug" that is causing massive boils and rashes to form and quickly spread across its victims. He joins forces with CDC investigator Juliette Richardson as they try to figure out what is going on in Yellowstone and what is causing people to break out into these rashes, and then die.
I haven't written many reviews of the Michael Crichton books I've read, but let me tell you that if Orwell was the first book I ever read. Jurassic Park and/or The Andromeda Strain by Crichton was the first book I ever fell in love with. This book has all the pacing, writing style, and love that I always felt in Crichton works.
With that being said, I love a good bio-thriller. Anything where they dive deep into what the virus, or bacteria, or what-have-you and does it justice is usually a high rater in my book. Engima Stain just cruised up into 5 stars, the background of the disease was super interesting and I haven't read too many books that were about a similar idea.
The first thing I did when I finished this book was call up my dad and tell him I had just gifted him a copy for his Kindle. He's a fast-paced thriller fan, and I knew that he was going to love this. Bennett's character was just, interesting. I found myself spending time trying to figure him out, what makes him tick, why is he afraid of flying "he just doesn't like it."
The relationship between Ben and Juliette was a nice addition for me, it didn't feel forced or unnatural at all. Their characters, while seemingly quiet and stand-offish, were better when they were together.
There were some twists in this that I didn't expect, and when a book can do that, I'm always impressed. The relationships (both growth and history) were really nice additions without making this book super long.
Overall, Thacker has done it again. Blending the pacing and science of Crichton with his own unique twists, this book is sure to please many fans over many genres.
I honestly think that was the first book that I ever looked at from Thacker, but for some reason never read it. I have since read many of his short stories and I am currently reading The Depths, and enjoying that thoroughly.
View more reviews of Thacker's work and others at my blog: books.beergodblog DOT com