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Set in the Gaza Strip area, Charles Vrooman’s True Virus is an excellent work of suspense/thriller fiction. While running some tests using their new DNA technology, CIA scientists discover a virus in their results. Thinking it a fluke, the scientists erase the data. Little do they know, however, that it isn’t a fluke.
After his colleague, Mark Colby, has his Blackberry gets shot and explode on him, a virus gets into his bloodstream and he dies and starts an epidemic. In an attempt to get to the bottom of the problem, John heads to Israel and seeks out the help of Sarah Stein, the co-developer of the DNA technology program.
No one is sure who is in charge of it all, but they all know the Hamas are behind it and they’re determined to usurp President Mohmoud Abbas. To make matters worse, Sarah’s ex-boyfriend, Ahmed, is out to make sure that John never sees the light of day again and there may even be some double agents in the mix as well. With time running out and the presidency of Abbas’ presidency on the line, can John, Sarah, and Ralph stop the epidemic from spreading further? Will the CIA be able to stop the Hama from taking over Palestine and taking control of the Gaza Strip?
The plot is well-developed and the story is action-packed. A page turner from start to finish, the suspense and mystery that carries on throughout the book is engaging and has a lot of twist and surprises. The author masterfully draws the reader into John and Ralph’s world and easily mixes action and mystery together. Unlike traditional mysteries, the reader is made aware almost from the start what is going on, or thinks they do.
The characters dynamic is unique and realistic. The characters are likable and entertaining, but their development seems to have taken a backseat to the plot. Also, some of the names are so similar, they are hard to keep straight.
Overall I’d give it 3 out of 4 stars. Although the character development wasn’t quite there, the story kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat. Readers who like military fiction, suspense/thrillers, and mysteries will enjoy reading this book.
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