From the Publisher
Advance praise for Spiral
“Spiral by Paul McEuen carries the reader on a fascinating ride through a world of bioweaponry, nanoscience, murder, and international intrigue. This gripping story, partially based on Unit 731, the biological warfare group of the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II, is one of the best debut thrillers I’ve read in a long time.”—Douglas Preston, author of Impact and The Monster of Florence
“Spiral is an all-too-frighteningly-real tale. This is an exciting debut.”—Steve Berry, author of The Emperor’s Tomb
“A riveting story that combines international intrigue with fascinating inventions such as the MicroCrawler, a spiderlike robot with knife-sharp legs. In more ways than one, Spiral will get under your skin.” —Mark Alpert, author of Final Theory
“Fast-paced and suspenseful . . . McEuen, a leader in nanoscience research at Cornell, makes unsettling use of recent developments in the field. . . . After you’ve finished the book, try not hearing [the MicroCrawlers] go tink tink tink in the night. . . . exciting and unsettling."—Kirkus Reviews
“It’s hard to reckon with the realization that a prominent scientist in a cutting-edge field, writing his first novel in his “spare time,” has created what may be the most gripping and engrossing thriller this reviewer has ever read in almost 50 years of thriller reading…[Paul McEuen] wisely writes about what he knows…but also shows a true gift for plotting, pace, characterization, and writerly clarity…and remarkably, he makes [his] ideas accessible to typical thriller aficionados. A stunning achievement.”
– Booklist, starred review
A Nobel Prize–winning science professor and his protégé must fend off a sophisticated lady assassin or lose a spore-producing bio-weapon that could kill millions.
Liam Connor, an Irish native, is a decorated fungus expert at Cornell. During World War II, when he was a chemical and germs weapon researcher in England, he was summoned to theUSS North Dakotato interrogate a Japanese prisoner who was part of a chilling bio-warfare project. After secretly experimenting on scores of unsuspecting Japanese, his team perfected the fungus-based Uzumaki weapon. It was so lethal and fast-spreading that the United States dropped a nuclear bomb to destroy the last Japanese submarine carrying it. Flash forward 60-plus years. Connor, who secretly made off with the prisoner's small brass cylinder containing the last Uzumaki, has been working on an antidote to the weapon, which makes victims go mad and uncontrollably violent before causing fatal internal hemorrhaging. Abducted and tortured by the techno-brilliant assassin, Orchid, he leaps to his death to protect his granddaughter Maggie and 9-year-old great-grandson Dylan. The role of their protector is then taken on by Connor's young colleague Jake, who has eyes for Maggie. The notion of the world's fate resting on the efforts of this threesome is hard to swallow. And why does the assassin, who wastes no time killing other targets, not quickly dispatch Jake? Still, this is a fast-paced and suspenseful first novel, and in other ways as frighteningly plausible as UFOs. McEuen, a leader in nanoscience research at Cornell, makes unsettling use of recent developments in the field. Tiny robotic MicroCrawlers are used to inflict torture. After you've finished the book, try not hearing them gotink tink tinkin the night.
An exciting and unsettling, if sometimes incredible, doomsday novel.