30 December 2013

Review: The Moses Virus by Jack Hyland

In sci-med thriller The Moses Virus, Dr Tom Stewart, a professor and trustee of the American Academy in Rome, stumbles upon an ancient virus, more deadly than the Spanish Flu and becomes the one man who can protect the virus from falling into the wrong hands.

I do like my deadly pathogen thrillers, and The Moses Virus certainly fits into this category, although is a bit slower than most novels in this genre, with a lot of focus being put on the history side of the story especially earlier on. Like many books since Dan Brown, there is a bit of an ‘evil Vatican’ sub-plot that will appeal to fans of that ilk. One of the highlights of The Moses Virus is that it is beautifully written and features well researched descriptions of modern Rome.
My big problem with The Moses Virus was that the plot is flawed, why is Dr Stewart the one to investigate the virus? There is a weak reason given in passing but it doesn’t really make sense. Neither does the fact the police and the Vatican seem completely happy to have him investigate seemly with very little official investigation going on particularly on the part of the police. Then there is the fact that he realises that there are people who will kill to find out what is going on and that he needs to be discrete but then goes any around telling all and sundry about the virus. Later in the book, he seems to manage to organise a cross border raid in very little time, with his only contact in government seemingly a Rome based director of the Laboratory for Communicable Substances. I realise that being utterly realistic wouldn’t work, but the lack of realism really bothers me and detracted from my overall enjoyment of the book.

Overall, an okay read which general fans of thrillers will enjoy, particular those who like a bit of history in the plot. Those who enjoy a bit more science in their thriller will probably be a bit disappointed with the lack of substantial science but The Moses Virus will still make for a pleasant afternoon’s read.

The Moses Virus is available in dead tree format from Amazon.com (January 7th) and from Amazon.co.uk (March 7th).

[An ARC was provided through NetGalley]


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  2. I have seen this book posted a few other places and although I have seen mixed reviews, I think I will probably really like it. I plan to read it as soon as I finish reading "Chasing A Miracle" by Eliot Hartford Bailey http://eliothbailey.com/- another great thriller- It has a little bit of everything – Action, adventure, conspiracy, religion, drama, love, government, travel, sci-fi.


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