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This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Dedicated to the living spirit of Rachel Carson…



Karl Frankton is a pathologist with a CDC field team in Somalia. For two days, they have tried to identify a virus that has wiped out a village on the Wabi-Shabeelle River. There are no clues, only 84 suffocated villagers.

Karl is ordered back to the states after a confrontation with the team’s leader. Through a liquor-induced nightmare, we learn Karl rose from poor roots to become a promising medical student at Columbia University, only to see his life shattered while attending an FDA research program two years ago. Karl is a disillusioned alcoholic who has lost his family and career because of a whistle-blowing incident that cost powerful people a lot of money. If not for the poison pill agreement negotiated by his attorney, Karl Frankton would be a homeless drunk.

Karl is diverted to Seattle where a similar outbreak has occurred in a fishing village on Willapa Bay. There, he gets into a heated argument with a security agent, Parker Hampsted, and is sent back to Atlanta in disgrace. With his savings depleted, Karl receives a final assignment to investigate a third outbreak at a lake near Houston. At the site, he meets Dr. Mandu Thala, a brilliant pathologist carrying deep scars from his family’s torture and death during apartheid.

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