1. “Exposed,” Alex Kava

FBI special agent Maggie O’Dell pursues a vengeful monster and his sadistic assistant who infect innocent people with the deadly Ebola virus. While investigating a bomb threat in suburban Elk Grove, Va., Maggie and her boss, Assistant Director Cunningham, become exposed to the virus. The pair wind up in the Slammer, an isolation ward within the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Md. On the outside, Maggie’s partner, R.J. Tully, investigates other cases of exposure to the virus, including an entire Chicago hospital. After Maggie’s release, a clue Tully uncovers from his past sends him racing to save Maggie from the evil mastermind responsible for the viral threats. (From the Publisher’s Weekly review)

This… was not a good book. It just was not. Kava uses a lot of very short (generally about three page) chapters, each of which focuses on a different character, about a dozen POVs in all. Each time, it is almost assumed that we know who each of these people are, be they Chicago nurses or a Floridian restaurant manager. Eventually their lives do come together, but I’d hardly say the effect is elegant. And with SO many story lines to keep track of, it’s really not effective. Even for a disposable crime novel (which was totally what I was going for– I actually searched the course catalog for “virus outbreaks– Fiction”), it was clunky. Eventually I will learn that this genre just doesn’t work for me. This is not that day.

Page count: 445
Page total: 445

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