I enjoy a good suspense novel or movie which, for me, is ruined by car chases, gratuitous sex, or infallible, almost superhuman heros. I think real suspense comes from an unexplainable click of metal in the deep silence of night; the feeling of another presence in the room; a footfall on the stairs, a turn of the doorknob when there’s nowhere to run.

My first book of this type, A Terrible Mercy was inspired by a book I read years ago called The Hot Zone which chronicled a near-distaster involving the mishandling of the apocalyptic, flesh-eating ebola virus and subsequent efforts to contain the contamination. What would happen, I wondered, if terrorists were to acquire and utilize this civilization-ending germ. The result is A Terrible Mercy. It is not for the faint-of-heart.


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