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The Poison Secret
     

The Poison Secret

by Gregg Loomis
 

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In the year 88 BC, King Mithradates of Anatolia died suddenly after an apparent poisoning. His son, Prince Mithradates, then disappeared for seven years into the woods where he collected hemlock plants and other deadly poisons. Upon his return, he shared a fatal meal with his mother and brother. Mithradates, who ultimately became King, somehow left the meal

Overview

In the year 88 BC, King Mithradates of Anatolia died suddenly after an apparent poisoning. His son, Prince Mithradates, then disappeared for seven years into the woods where he collected hemlock plants and other deadly poisons. Upon his return, he shared a fatal meal with his mother and brother. Mithradates, who ultimately became King, somehow left the meal unharmed.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/17/2014
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.)
From the Publisher
"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." Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781630260064
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
01/06/2015
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Lang had kept the Mondeo floor-boarded despite virtually driving blind in the fog. He screeched to a stop in front of the hotel, sprung from the car, dashed through the door, throwing it open so violently he nearly hit an elderly couple about to exit the lobby. Both astonished and angered at his apparent indifference to what could have been a nasty accident, they watched him slam a palm against the elevator button, mutter curses, and sprint for the stairwell.

He climbed four flights of stairs in what, had he thought about it, might have been world-record time. Forcing himself to slow down for the sake of stealth, he slid along, back pressed to the corridor’s wall, until he reached 410, his room.

For an instant he was depleted by his four-story sprint. Then he leaned around the door frame, placing his ear as close as possible to the door.

Nothing.

He reached out and touched the wood.

The door swung open, unlocked.

Lang flung himself inside, squatting to make as small a target as possible.

He need not have bothered. He was the only living creature in the room. Still, he called Gurt’s name only to be answered by silence, a terrifying sound.

He stood.

The bed was rumpled as though she had made good on her threat to take a nap. He took a step and something crunched underfoot. Kneeling, he saw shards of glass. A quick glance found a water pitcher and two unbroken glasses on the floor. Where . . .—Oh yeah, a pitcher and two glasses had been on the dresser. But these shards of glass didn’t match. They had come from with a small cylindrical object with what appeared to be calibrations on it.

The realization of what he was looking at made his stomach churn.

Beside the dresser a small, ugly, fabric-covered chair lay on its side.

Now that he knew what he was looking for, small signs of a struggle were everywhere: a lone woman’s sandal just this side of the threshold to the bathroom; clothes, perhaps spread out on the bed, now dumped in piles on the floor; a handbag vomiting its contents.

Most telling: a quarter-sized drop of reddish brown on the tiles of the bath, now going tacky. Someone had shed blood.

Meet the Author

Gregg Loomis is an American author of thrillers, including the popular Lang Reilly series. He has also written several short stories and was a nominee for Writer of the Year-Fiction by the Georgia Writers Association. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Loomis spent his youth traveling the world, and has worked as a commercial pilot, a racecar driver, and a lawyer specializing in commercial litigation. Loomis now writes and practices law in Atlanta. Over half a million copies of his books are in print, and many have been translated into multiple foreign languages.

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