When a doughnut box on Assistant Director Cunningham's desk is found nobody thinks it might have been left by an intruder at Quantico headquarters. Instead they find find a note hidden under the doughnuts: The note announces a crash at a certain time and a certain point.
Rushing for help they trap into an almost invisible trap. The house they enter is occupied by a mother and her little daughter. The child looks neglected, the mother lies blood gurgling in her blood drenched bed. Both agents instantly know there is no bomb going to explode but that the mother and the child have been exposed to a biological, possibly highly infectious agent. When the little girl vomits she splatters all over Cunningham and partly over Maggie.
The agents destiny seems to be defined when the Army arrives and takes them to the nearest USAMRID
center and their containment hospital.
If it weren't for Maggie all the evidence would have been lost in the house. In a snap decision she bags a manila envelope from the mothers desk and hides it under her waistband.
With her and Cunningham locked away Tully stays outside worrying about his co-workers her considers his friends. With little evidence and not much to find on the doughnut note he pretty much doesn't know where to begin his investigations while Maggie after begging receives a laptop to at least do a little research about the return address on her envelope.
During this she receives the threatening diagnosis that she and Cunningham have been
exposed to Ebola Zaire, the worst and deadliest strain of all known Ebola viruses and that Cunningham seems to be infected while Maggie's blood stays clean.
I know a lot about viruses and have read a lot of reference about this topic so I might judge that Mrs. Kava did a fine research job and explained the facts about Ebola very nice and understandable for people who have never gone into this topic.
However, the plot seems to have suffered from it or shortened by the publisher.
The actual investigation to find the killer fells short and in the end leaves a few questions and loose ends.
The writing style very much reminded me of Whitewash
but this time it didn't hurt the book as much.
There are a lot of possible infected people mentioned, but Mrs. Kava didn't close the loop on those. Also there was a quarantined hospital that receives a not much tested unproved vaccine. I figure she didn't close the loop on the later because the vaccine is real and it hasn't been tested on a lot of humans yet.
To come to a conclusion:
Yes, I liked it but I believe people that aren't too interested to read about pandemics, filoviruses and containment procedures might not be as interested as I am. Overall for me it was fluent up until the end which I probably didn't get right in the first place because I was distracted about all the loose ends and disappointed that the end was such uneventful.
Overall the book is very different from the other Maggie O'Dell novels.