Now, Gazan's much-anticipated follow-up is here, bringing back maverick policeman Soren Marhauge. In The Arc of the Swallow, a perilous investigation reveals a profit-motivated conspiracy involving the upper reaches of Big Pharma, government, and academia.
Biology Ph.D. candidate Marie Skov is devastated when, on the same day as her mother's death, her mentor Kristian Storm apparently kills himself. Storm had been facing academic dishonesty charges, as well as heated criticism of his research on a vaccine for African children--that suggested the vaccine was causing more harm than it was preventing.
Skov is skeptical that the death was a suicide. She knows Storm's research on the vaccine was sound, and learns that his on-site work in Guinea-Bissau was marred by intimidation, sabotaged data, and the suspicious death of another scientist. She also learns that in his final days, Storm felt he was being followed by a blue Ford with tinted windows.
Soon afterwards, a blue Ford with tinted windows parks across from Skov's home. The police have no interest in re-examining the official narrative. But Marhauge shares Skov's desire for answers, and defies his superiors to help her investigate. They receive unlikely help from a Nobel Prize-winning rival of Storm's, and find themselves on a perilous trail that leads to Big Pharma and the World Health Organization.
Interwoven in this thrilling storyline are deeply-moving portraits of Skov's troubled family and Marhauge's tenuous relationship with his girlfriend, another biologist. The result is a complex page-turner that establishes S.J. Gazan (herself a biologist) as a world-class author at the beginning of a formidable career.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Gazan's excellent sequel to 2013's The Dinosaur Feather draws the reader into the fiercely competitive, high-stakes world of medical research. Deputy Chief Supt. Søren Marhauge is supervising Henrik Tejsner, who was promoted to Søren's previous job and wants desperately to outshine Søren's achievements, when a case of apparent suicide is reported. Kristian Storm, the decedent, was a brilliant scientist, a professor of immunology at the University of Copenhagen. Revered by some, reviled by others, he was gathering data on West African subjects and apparently about to prove that the DPT vaccine in current use actually causes more deaths than it prevents. The police assume that Kristian killed himself because he had been anonymously reported to the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty for fraudulent analysis of the study's statistics. Although Søren resigns from his job because he's fed up with routine police work, including supervising Henrik, he nevertheless continues to investigate on his own, discovering that the case is much more than a simple suicide. Gazan skillfully introduces characters and cleverly resolves side stories as the action builds to a thrilling denouement. Agent: Karin Lindgren, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden).)(Apr.)