In modern-day Turkey, a young boy endures a bite from a venomous viper. His doctor reports that the child experienced no ill effects and suggests the existence of a universal immunity in his blood, possibly as a descendant of Mithradates. And then the battle over his blood sample begins, attracting vigilantes who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the immunity. They even go so far as to steal young boy's hematology reports--and then murder the doctor who made the discovery.Word of the discovery made in his Holt Foundation children's hospital quickly spreads across continents to Lang Reilly. Lang decides he and his wife, Gurt, must travel to Turkey to get to the bottom of these tragic events. Soon after arriving in Trabzon, Turkey, Lang's house is burglarized, his rental car is attacked by phony police officers, and his wife is abducted from their hotel room by members of the Turkish mafia. Lang's life is not the only one in danger, and he must work fast to gain possession of the immunity before it is too late.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-11-17
- Reviewer: Staff
Loomis blends ancient historical legend with contemporary medicine in his lively seventh thriller featuring ex-FBI agent and practicing attorney Lang Reilly (after 2014’s The Cathar Secret). In Trabzon, Turkey, Baris, the four-year-old son of “ignorant mountain peasants,” is bitten by a snake whose venom is highly toxic, and yet the boy shows no ill effects whatsoever. Tests reveal anti-venom in Baris’s blood, but he was never inoculated with anti-venom serum. When a sample of his blood is later stolen from an American hospital, Reilly heads to Turkey for answers. Could the self-induced immunity of master poisoner Mithradates, king of Pontus in the first century B.C., have been handed down through the generations? And, if so, how many people will kill for it? Loomis smoothly spins a tale of greed and shady political maneuvering while commenting without sermonizing on humankind’s capacity for compassion and cruelty. (Jan.)