Pandora Deception by David Bruns and J. R. Olson is extremely
relevant to today’s issues. The authors must have a
strong crystal ball because their book has the threat of a
virus brought on by a bioterrorist attack. Sound familiar
J. R. noted, "As a career intelligence officer, I am
least worried about chemical weapons of all the possible WMDs.
For me, it is always the biological threats, which are the
most terrifying. Man is able to manipulate them if they wish
to do so. The idea behind this story is that there is now
the ability to create a lethal biological weapon by using
a man-made virus like Ebola that has an 80% mortality rate
and pairing it up with another virus. This can be devastating.
We called it Pandora. Compare that to the mortality rate of
Covid-19, which is about a 1.5% death rate. Scientists are
able to target large populations, and this is a terrifying
Furthermore, David feels, "Any other weapon, chemical
or nuclear, is launched against a person or persons. But bioweapons
take every person it affects and turns that person into a
weapon with an exponential spread. We wanted people to realize
if a virus gets out in the air and someone breathes it into
their lungs, they can unleash it because it is transferred
from one person to another."
This fourth book in the series brings back all the characters
from the last novel. Don Riley is asked to head a new team,
called Emerging Threats. Their mission is to anticipate, rather
than react to, threats against the US. He recruits the talented
mid-shipmen that previously helped him: Michael Goodwin, Janet
Everett, and Andrea Ramirez, now, all commissioned officers.
They uncover a new terrorist group, going under the name of
the Mahdi, a messiah figure of Islamic mythology, and is operating
in the geopolitical tinderbox that is the Nile River basin.
But even worse, the group is working with Jean-Pierre Manzul,
CEO of Reconda Genetics. He is secretly building an underground
lab where a bioweapon known as Pandora is being developed
with a devastating fatality rate. They are testing it on remote
villages, which are covered up by separate terrorist incidents
that are claimed by the Mahdi.
their personal experiences, Bruns, a retired submarine officer,
and Olson, former naval intelligence, create realistic and
gripping scenarios, and this story is no different.