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The Deep Zoneby James Tabor
Synopses & Reviews
In this gripping debut thriller from James M. Tabor, a brilliant and beautiful scientist and a mysterious special ops soldier must lead a team deep into the Earth on a desperate hunt for the cure to a deadly epidemic.
When she was unjustly fired from a clandestine government laboratory, microbiologist Hallie Leland swore she would never look back. But she can’t ignore an urgent summons from the White House to reenter the realm of cutting-edge science and dangerous secrets.
“Potentially the worst threat since Pearl Harbor” is how the president describes a mysterious epidemic killing American soldiers in Afghanistan—and now poised for outbreak in the States and beyond. Millions will die unless Hallie and a hastily mobilized team can recover the ultrarare organism needed to create a new antibiotic. The good news is that Hallie knows more about the organism than anyone else on the planet. The bad news is that it can be found only at the bottom of Earth’s deepest cave.
Hallie’s team is capable—especially the mysterious Wil Bowman, who knows as much about high-tech weaponry as he does about microbiology—but the challenge appears insurmountable. Before even reaching the supercave, they must traverse a forbidding Mexican jungle populated by warring cartels, Federales, and murderous locals. Only then can they confront the cave’s flooded tunnels, lakes of acid, bottomless chasms, and mind-warping blackness. But the deadliest enemies are hiding in plain sight: a powerful traitor high in the Washington ranks and a cunning assassin deep underground, determined to turn Hallie’s mission into a journey of no return.
The award-winning and bestselling author of two nonfiction books about adventure and exploration, James M. Tabor now plunges readers into the harrowing subterranean world of supercaves—and even deeper, into a race-with-the-devil thriller that pits one woman against a lethal epidemic and a murderous conspiracy.
"In Tabor's first novel, a routine near-future medical thriller, a new, lethal, and contagious bacterial infection has reached the U.S. through stricken American soldiers wounded in Afghanistan shipped home. To the rescue comes Dr. Hallie Leland, who was forced to resign from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to avoid criminal charges that she sold government secrets. Before her unceremonious ouster, Leland was close to creating a superantibiotic from an extreme organism she recovered from a Mexican cave. With disaster looming, she and her team enter the lawless area of Mexico where the cave is located, to retrieve more of the organism in a Hail Mary effort to stop the killer bacteria. Readers should be prepared for stock, often implausible action sequences underground. Despite the author's considerable experience with deep-cave exploration (he's the co-creator of the History Channel's Journey to the Center of the World), Tabor fails to make the best use of that expertise. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
James M. Tabor is the nationally bestselling author of Blind Descent and Forever on the Mountain and a winner of the O. Henry Award for short fiction. A former Washington, D.C., police officer and a lifelong adventure enthusiast, Tabor has written for Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Outside magazine, where he was a contributing editor. He wrote and hosted the PBS series The Great Outdoors and was co-creator and executive producer of the History Channel’s Journey to the Center of the World. He lives in Vermont, where he is at work on his next novel.
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