Midwest Book Review of Particles in the Air

Readers of medical thrillers who look for powerful female protagonists will find Particles in the Air the strong story of Dr. Mallory Hayes, a CDC investigator who tackles the sudden spread of a puzzling disease after a tsunami hits the coast of Southern California.

Mallory's discovery of a strange new virus and its properties are only the beginning of the story, because soon she is tasked with understanding not just its incarnation, but its origins. And these involve a strange series of uncommon associations between scientists and madmen which portend doom to the world if the virus is not contained.

Dr. Jenna Podjasek employs medical knowledge, processes, and her knowledge of disease progression to create a winning combination of authoritative real-world knowledge and fictional drama.

Medical facts interspersed with the plot create a realistic backdrop that define and educate readers about the parameters of the problem: "Bartonella causes a rare type of local bacterial infection associated with lymph node swelling. It is known in the medical community as "Cat Scratch Disease" and is usually treated easily with antibiotics. In comparison to patients with a normal, functioning immune system, immuno-deficient patients exposed to certain strains of the bacteria experience a more widespread, potentially serious infection.


Pair this with an attention to creating strong, authoritative characters and women in positions of power who must translate their problem-solving abilities to an unprecedented medical threat, for a gripping story of subterfuge, intrigue, and drama that holds twists and turns many won't see coming.

One of the special strengths of Particles in the Air lies in its concurrent subplots of a professional woman considering a relationship in the midst of what evolves to be a terrorist threat.

As the nation unites, so does her heart. New possibilities expand plot and person to create a vivid, memorable read backed by a professional immunologist's consideration of disease and health processes and possibilities.

Libraries looking for medical thrillers with powerful social and psychological backdrops will find Particles in the Air an outstanding choice.

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