by Robert Liparulo


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If you breathe . . . It will find you.

The list of 10,000 names was created for maximum devastation. Business leaders, housewives, politicians, celebrities, janitors, children. None of them is aware of what is about to happen—but all will be part of the most frightening brand of warfare the world has ever known.

The germ—an advanced form of the Ebola virus—has been genetically engineered to infect only those people whose DNA matches the codes embedded within it. Those whose DNA is not a match simply catch a cold. But those who are a match experience a far worse fate. Within days, their internal organs liquify.

Death is the only escape.

The release of the virus will usher in a new era of power where countries are left without defense. Where a single person—or millions—could be killed with perfect accuracy and zero collateral damage. Where your own DNA works against you.

The time isn't coming. It is now. Pray the assassins get you first.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780785261780
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 10/31/2006
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 6.52(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.61(d)

About the Author

Robert Liparulo has received rave reviews for both his adult novels (Comes a Horseman, Germ, Deadfall, and Deadlock) and the best-selling Dreamhouse Kings series for young adults. He lives in Colorado with his wife and their four children.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Hardly resembling a man anymore, the thing on the bed jerked and thrashed like a nocturnal creature dragged into the light of day. His eyes had filled with blood and rolled back into his head, so only crimson orbs glared out from behind swollen, bleeding lids. Black flecks stained his lips, curled back from canted teeth and blistered gums. Blood poured from nostrils, ears, fingernails. Flung from the convulsing body, it streaked up curtains and walls and streamed into dark pools on the tile floor.

Despesorio Vero, clad in a white lab coat, leaned over the body, pushing an intratrachael tube down the patient's throat; his fingers were slick on the instrument. He snapped his head away from the crimson mist that marked each gasp and cough. His nostrils burned from the acidic tang of the sludge. He caught sight of greasy black mucus streaking the blood and tightened his lips. Having immersed his hands in innumerable body cavities--of the living and the dead--few things the human body could do or produce repulsed him. But this . . . He found himself at once steeling his stomach against the urge to expel his lunch and narrowing his attention to the mechanics of saving this man's life.

Around him, patients writhed on their beds. They howled in horror and strained against their bonds. Vero ached for them, feeling more sorrow for them than he felt for the dying man; at least his anguish would end soon. For the others, this scene would play over and over in their minds--every time an organ cramped in pain; when the fever pushed beads of perspiration, then blood, through their pores; and later, during brief moments of lucidity.

The body under him abruptly leaped into an explosive arch. Then it landed heavily and was still. One hand on the intratrachael tube, the other gripping the man's shoulder, Vero thought mercy had finally come--until he noticed the patient's skin quivering from head to toe. The man's head rotated slowly on its neck to rest those pupil-less eyes on the doctor. With stuttering movements, as if a battle of fierce wills raged inside, the eyes rolled into their normal position. The cocoa irises were difficult to distinguish from the crimson sclera.

For one nightmarish moment, Vero looked into those eyes. Gone were the insanity of a diseased brain and the madness that accompanies great pain. Deep in those bottomless eyes, he saw something much worse.

He saw the man within. A man who fully realized his circumstances, who understood with torturous clarity that his organs were liquefying and pouring out of his body. In those eyes, Vero saw a man who was pleading, pleading . . .

The skin on the patient's face began to split open. As a gurgling scream filled the ward, Vero turned, an order on his lips. But the nurses and assistants had fled. He saw a figure in the doorway at the far end of the room.

"Help me!" he called. "Morphine! On that cart . . ."

The man in the doorway would not help.

Karl Litt. He had caused this pain, this death. Of course he would not help.

Still, it shocked Vero to see the expression on Litt's face. He had heard that warriors derived no pleasure from taking life; their task was necessary but tragic. Litt was no warrior. Only a monster could look as Litt did upon the suffering of the man writhing under Vero. Only a monster could smile so broadly at the sight of all this blood.

Customer Reviews

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Germ 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
When I received this book in the mail, the first thing everyone said when they saw it was 'Oh your book is wet.' Actually I'm not sure why there are spotted raised dots on the cover, but it sure was a way to get people to notice the book! To be honest this isn't the type of book I would normally pick up. I'm glad though that I did, I would have missed out on a really intense, suspenseful read. While reading it, I kept thinking I was in 24 with a touch of the Constant Gardener. The story moves at a extremely fast pace and you never get bored. I really liked all the characters, Julia is a very good female lead. ('Jack'ie Bauer!) And my goodness, those Atropas guys were creepy. The description of the weapon they used and how it tore the body up after you've been shot made me squirm. Same with the first chapter of the story, extremely gross out situation. But I liked it because it's definitely not something one would expect in a Christian fiction book. (blood and guts?? isn't that sinful?) Great way to hook you into the story (if you haven't thrown up on the pages already). Really scary when you think about how those guys seem to share the same identity and only think as one. What's even more scary is how realistic the storyline is and how there's a possibility it could happen in this day and age. If they make this novel into a movie, I'll definitely be in line for it. This is the type of book that would appeal to both the secular and Christian crowd.
loves2readPAKC More than 1 year ago
I read this book because I loved Robert Liparulo's "Deadfall" and this book did not dissappoint! It is a book with a very frightening premise (that this virus can seek out and kill certain people) that keeps you hooked until the very end. What I loved about it (and pretty much the other Robert Liparulo books I have read) is that he keeps you guessing. People die who you think are going to be main characters; you get to the end of a chapter and are like "OH NO, now what?!?!?" and you have to keep reading!!! He gets his characters in situations that you think they can't possibly escape from, yet they do! I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
fingerpost on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Top notch thriller. I bought it expecting a medical thriller a la Robin Cook, but got something so much better. Liparulo knows how to keep you going. All plot elements in place. A devout Christian, he tells the story without even mild profanity, yet all characters work that way. The slight Christian message is not heavy handed and does not detract from the story. A mad scientist has figured out how to splice DNA with the Ebola Virus, so that it can target specific individuals. The unlikely team of a CDC/FBI agent, a renouned surgeon, and the doctor's brother, a pastor, work to figure out and defeat the scientist, while being pursued by an amazingly wicked assasin.
arsmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
well, when i read the back i thought it might be interesting in a zombie novel sort of way. turns out it's a complete thriller with no psychological or sociological factors at all. it's like reading die hard. since watching action movies aren't typically my thing, neither is reading them. i think i should get an A for effort though for making it half way through. or then again, maybe i was just lazy about picking out a new book...
LonnieB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a high-octane read! It was not at all what I expected but I loved it. I haveshared this book with my friends and they love it as well. It is about germ warfare but mostly a thrilling read. I highly recommend it!!
bhowell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I gave this book a 5 because it did exactly what it was supposed to do--provide a thriller that keeps the heart stopping action going from beginning to end. It entertains and is the ultimate escapist read. It is not literature but that is not the point. This book is as good as watching a movie. It's language conveys a picture of every thought and movement of it's actors. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
'Leave now.' She stared at him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grabs you by the wrist and pinches it hard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I shadow shift and you try to hit me but i appear behind you and stab you. Ypu cannot stop that blow because if you did you would die by impact immediately like i am doing now.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Coughs blood up and says "Why!?" Gtgtb bbt luv you genis
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finally got my little brother to stop posting as howard
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have this bood in paperback its adicting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tlocke More than 1 year ago
Starting from page one Liparulo takes you on an action packed journey all across the world. It is a fast paced non-stop thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat biting your nails. Germ read exactly like a Holly Blockbuster, it was exciting and suspenseful with vivid images that made it seem real. Everything I look for in a good action adventure novel, Germ is the epitome of the thriller genre. Fantastic work! Praise to Robert Liparulo and such an outstanding novel!
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