Sunday, 23 April 2017

Book Review: Playing God by Douglas Moore


Shifts in the ocean’s currents due to the melting polar caps have led to the collapse of a large section of the western continental shelf triggering a massive tsunami that hits China, killing millions and leaving the country in ruin. In its wake a pathogen emerges that threatens the entire world. Jake Miller is a former combat pilot and soldier of fortune haunted by his past. He is the only survivor to an outbreak years earlier while working in the jungles of Panama with parallels to China’s epidemic. His blood runs cold when CNN confirms it’s ‘mouse pox’ and it’s spreading fast. How could this be? 

Jake enlists the help of a friend and private investigator and start to dig but someone wants to bury him and the events of Panama. Jake and his family flee across America amidst the breakdown of society, the fall of man and the rise of a new dominant species while being hunted by those who want him silenced. Jake may be the last man on earth who can piece together the truth and save his family if he lives long enough.

My Review: 
Former Vietnam veteran Jake is part of a pest control clean up crew in Panama and it has been three days since base camp has heard from the jungle camp when a mystery illness broke out. A quarantine zone is set up to stop the dying men spreading the mouse pox further and it seems to be contained. But years later, a tsunami in China brings mouse pox back into the world and Jake has to save the people he loves from it and those who seek to stop him talking about the previous outbreak.

This is more of a thriller than an apocalypse read which I found out when I started to read it but I still enjoyed it. It focuses on the characters fleeing for safety and the government conspiracy so don't expect to see people coming down with mouse pox like an ebola outbreak or something as that is not what the book is about.

Jake lives next door to June, the widow of his friend Robert who died in a car crash after escaping the mouse pox in Panama. Her daughter Leslie and her kids are fleeing Florida and Hurricane Gabrielle to seek refuge with June, and everyone is worried for the safety of Leslie's husband Paul who is on a media assignment in China. Jake panics when he hears from Paul that journalists are being expelled by China and rumours about mouse pox are circulating. Now Paul is in a race to get out of China and back home before quarantine starts closing borders to him. Jake is trying to think of somewhere safer to evacuate the rest of the family before mouse pox arrives in the US.

Jake's PI friend John is interested to hear that the CIA searched June's home after Robert's death and discovers that five of the CDC doctors from Panama all died around the same time as Robert did. However John makes contact with someone in a mental institution who knows about mouse pox and a cover up, and his questions start to attract the attention of the NSA, who want to silence him at all costs. The relentless pursuit of Jake and his loved ones is about to begin.

This was a decent little thriller with good characters that you are rooting for and the evil government agency who will kill anyone trying to help Jake and John. It is not really a dystopian apocalypse book because it doesn't cover the effects of the mouse pox in the US. It is about this group of people trying to find a safe place to stay while avoiding the government agents that pursue them. 

Read February 2017. 
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

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