We All Fall Down
Knopf, Jul 12 2011, $24.95
Two scientists inform the Chicago Mayor Wilson and Homeland Security agent Danielson that the “Canary” bio-warning device in a subway tunnel has detected a pathogen. Danielson uses the death of FBI Agent Lawson to force private investigator Michael Kelly to cooperate. He is blackmailed into serving as security by accompanying biologists Dr. Ellen Brazile and Dr. Molly Carrolton to the locale of the alarm to test and hopefully prove a false positive reading occurred.
Kelly has issues why HSD especially the FBI is not in the tunnels instead of a mercenary. However, they prove to late when a pathogen is released from a light bulb into the subway city leaving the potential to turn Chicago into a gigantic wasteland morgue. People begin to die while the Feds, state and city officials argue over what to do beyond quarantining Chicago. On his own initiative Kelly investigates which leads him to gangs and top secret labs where superbugs are created.
This is a great complex yet action-packed thriller with an incredibly dynamic last twist that never slows down as time is running out on the city. The story line grips the reader who appreciatively (from an armchair) accompanies Michael as he heroically tries to prevent a disaster from turning pandemic. The least Kelly investigation (see The Third Rail, The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor) is a great tale.