Monday, August 8, 2011

SICK by Brett Battles

I was just a few weeks into my LDS mission when I landed in the hospital with food poisoning.  After a week of treatment I was released and sent back out to do my duties as a missionary, but I never did feel healthy after that. I was constantly feeling sick to my stomach. My complaints led to more tests, and more than one MRI. One test even required me to drink barium. Awful stuff. Made me sick for days.

Then the results came in when my physician was out of town and this new doctor diagnosed with me pancreatic cancer. He gave me six months to live and sent me home with some meds. Then my physician came back from vacation and demanded a new test.  The pancreatic cancer? Turned out to be a shadow.

I wasn't dying. I was just sick.

Three days later there was a knock on our apartment door and a woman with the Health Department was there informing me that I was under quarantine. Turns out I had Salmonella E... a very rare form of salmonella.  A form of salmonella that is very contagious.  Want to know where I got it?  The hospital. Turns out their shipment of barium was tainted. Go figure.

I didn't die from my little illness, but it was a real concern for Washoe County. It was quite the little outbreak, and it took them a lot of time and interviews to track the source of the contaminant. Surprisingly there were no secrets. No cover ups regarding the source of the problem. People just tracked it, found all the people that were ill, and did everything they could to help us.

This obviously isn't the case in the novel Sick by Brett Battles.  After waking to the sounds of his daughter crying, Captain Daniel Ash discovers that she is seriously ill. After rushing her to the bathroom and putting her in a cold shower, Captain Ash goes to wake his wife for assistance, and sadly, finds her dead.

After calling for help, Captain Ash is surprised that the men coming to assist are dressed in bio-hazard suits, and even more shocked when he finds bio-hazard teams in front of all the homes in the neighborhood. Taken away in the night and later told that his family is dead, Captain Ash is left to deal with the loss of his family while being kept in an isolated location.  It turns out that Captain Ash has an immunity to the disease and the government uses him to find a vaccine for this deadly virus that is now spreading quickly and killing everyone within hours of exposure... Or at least that's what some people would have you believe.

In Sick by Brett Battles, you'll read about a ruthless helicopter squad assigned to shoot down innocent victims, a news anchor that doesn't know when to stop asking questions, teenagers being trapped with no way to escape the virus, and Captain Ash's incredible escape from quarantine. As the virus leaps from host to host and innocent lives are lost, you'll learn about the people behind the virus and the reason why it was created, and see just how far one man will go to bring justice to the family that he has lost.

Brett Battles was born and raised in southern California. His parents, avid readers, instilled the love of books in him early on.  Though he still makes Californian his home, he has traveled extensively to such destinations as Ho Chi Minh City, Berlin, Singapore, London, Paris, and Bangkok, all of which play parts in his current and upcoming Jonathan Quinn thrillers.


Elizabeth said...

Another awesome, classic Sabrina review. Well done. :-)

And it is a great read.

Christine H. said...

Sabrina/Kate, as usual you have described another great story. Thanks for presenting another great book and author. Sounds more realistic. Funny how you can go to the hospital to “get well” but on some occasions you come out feeling worse because of the “germs.” Moral to the story, ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES! Thanks for sharing.

nigel p bird said...

Would you believe, I read that as 'a few weeks into your LSD mission'. Needless to say I read very carefully. You really have had a colourful life, one beyond the spectrum of the rainbow.
A virus book seems quite frightening. Last thing I read that was close was The Plague and that scared the pants off me. Looks interesting, mind.

David Cranmer said...

Well done review, Sabrina.