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A jihadist agro-terrorism thriller
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Diseño de inspiración
Livestock, Dead Stock
Biografía del autor
Seymour Grufferman is a physician-epidemiologist who began his medical career as a pediatrician and went on to obtain two masters’ degrees and a doctorate in public health from Harvard. After serving in the Air Force in Japan, he taught and practiced public health at the Gondar Public Health College in Ethiopia. He has held faculty positions at several universities—Haile Selassie I, Duke, Pittsburgh and New Mexico—teaching and doing research, and has published numerous articles in leading scientific journals. He taught courses in epidemiology in Third World countries such as Pakistan, Thailand and Zambia for the International Agency for Research on Cancer and has traveled widely from Afghanistan to Tanzania. He draws on these experiences to create vivid images of the novel’s settings. After being invited to participate in conferences on US food safety, he became deeply concerned about the startling vulnerability of US food supplies to terrorist attack. This novel is intended as a wake-up call to America. Dr. Grufferman is retired and enjoys living with his wife and dog in the desert hills outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is the third novel of a Winston Sage trilogy.
Descripción del libro
Synopsis Livestock, Dead Stock A dark-skinned Pakistani veterinary technician in England endured a career of racial discrimination and verbal abuse. Just before his retirement, he steals infectious agents for serious and deadly animal diseases to avenge his mistreatment. He sells these agents to al Qaeda to supplement his meager pension and the story begins. Al Qaeda is wary of buying these organisms and insists that they be tested to see if they were still infectious before full payment is made. So they launch a test in the US of infecting humans with mad cow disease, which causes a fatal brain infection in humans. The occurrence of four cases of the fatal brain infection, variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD), when none are expected in the US, alerts the CDC, as well as the FBI and CIA to investigate potential bioterrorism. The CIA had prior intelligence that there would be a bioterrorist attack on US agriculture. Enter Winston Sage, MD, a retired epidemiologist living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sage had predicted that the US was vulnerable to agricultural terrorism at an earlier meeting with the President and is invited to participate in the vCJD investigation and to serve on a committee dealing with uncovering agro-terrorism. Having learned of the successful vCJD attack in the US, Ayman al-Zawahiri in Waziristan, al Qaeda’s head, purchases all of the Pakistani’s stolen animal disease microorganisms. The plan is to use half of them to send to the US directly and to send the other half to a clandestine laboratory in Yemen for propagation to expand the stock. Al Qaeda decides to add plant fungus to infect wheat crops in America and do further damage. In the US, former ISIS jihadis, all US citizens, are recruited to spread the infectious agents. Several men are recruited to get jobs in animal feed production facilities in Missouri and Minnesota. Their task is to introduce the infectious agents into the animal feed produced at plants that have national distributions. Other men are trained as small plane pilots and then sent to Mexico to learn crop dusting techniques. Their task is to spray wheat rust fungus spores by airplanes over wheat fields in the Midwest. Sage sits through endless boring meetings with FBI, CIA, and CDC agents that lead nowhere. He urges the CIA to get off their duffs and do active investigations. Though the CIA knows that an agricultural attack is imminent, their reliance on electronic and signal intelligence proves inadequate to detect the coming attacks. The terrorist attacks are wildly successful causing billions of dollars of damage to US agriculture. US farm animals are decimated by foot and mouth disease and Rinderpest (both diseases of cattle and sheep), Newcastle disease (a fatal disease of chickens), and swine flu (a disease of pigs). A majority of US wheat crops are destroyed. Only two of the terrorists are apprehended and killed in a shootout. The rest escape—the mill workers to Pakistan and the pilots to Mexico with their planes, and then on to Pakistan. The Yemen laboratory is spotted by drones and then destroyed by missiles from the drones. The Yemen laboratory successfully processed the wheat rust but was blown up before any of the animal diseases produced there could be shipped to the US. The Pakistani, who was working at the Yemen lab, escapes and returns to England to attack British herds with infectious material he had held onto. In the process of infecting herds in Southern England he is murdered by al Qaeda using the penalties of Sharia law—having his right hand cut off for thievery and being beheaded for his treachery. The US faces food shortages and inflation, and rioting against the government. The lame duck president, now highly unpopular, meets with Sage to watch a football game (he’s a big Browns fan and Sage a big Steeler fan) and to discuss the inadequacies of the US intelligence agencies. Key intelligence figures are fired and the use of human intelligence by the CIA is resurrected. The novel is set in the US (New Mexico, Washington, DC, New York, New Jersey, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas, and Kansas), England (London, Birmingham, Addlestone, and Yorkshire County), Pakistan (South Waziristan and Karachi), and Ethiopia (Shewa Region).
Público al que se apunta
Lovers of thrillers. Appeal is to adults of both genders. Might be of particular interest to boomers, as protagonist is a retired person.
Tipo de portada de libro
Tapa blanda o Paperback
Inspiración de colores
Atributos de estilo
Necesidades de diseño
I leave this up to the designers for their ideas. I had originally envisioned a cover with a live cow standing next to a dead cow on the ground, but it's too simple and I'd like to see other ideas.
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