Omega

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9780525943273: Omega

A hospital on the front lines in South Central Los Angeles begins losing patients to infections impervious to standard antibiotics, and a surgeon's search for the truth about a powerful new antibiotic becomes personal when his daughter falls victim to an infection. 35,000 first printing. $35,000 ad/promo."

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Review:

This engrossing thriller probably isn't the book to read while suffering from a sore throat caused by a staph infection. "The cocci were perfect spheres, like eggs or dark spawn.... They clumped. And they doubled.... Doubling every twenty minutes and clumping together in grape-like clusters.... Clumped in clusters that numbered eight million and then sixteen million and then an hour later 128 million perfect peptidoglycan-plated spheres ..." Philip Sington and Gary Humphreys, who wrote Carriers under the Patrick Lynch pseudonym, combine news from recent headlines--flesh-eating bacteria, the increasing resistance of bugs to antibiotics--with an imaginative but plausible scenario of rampant infection, bureaucratic fumbling, and corporate greed. Even the minor characters are fully sketched, which is not always the case in scientific thrillers.

From the Inside Flap:

Surgeon Marcus Ford's trauma unit at the Willowbrook Medical Center is on the front line, fighting diseases that rage through South Central, L.A.'s violent, poverty-stricken inner city.  But suddenly Ford finds himself battling an insidious new enemy.  Patients brought in to the emergency room begin to develop routine infections, which suddenly bloom out of control.  None of the drugs in the vast arsenal of modern medicine can check the symptoms...or prevent the bacteria from multiplying.  As more and more cases appear, and infected patients throughout L.A. start to die, Ford knows he is witnessing the onset of a mass epidemic--a modern-day plague.

Then the horror strikes home.  Ford's thirteen-year-old daughter contracts the life-threatening infection.  Her only hope of survival is Omega, a radical, genetically engineered antibiotic that is only rumored to exist.  As Ford's search for the phantom drug becomes a frantic race against time, his sole ally is Helen Wray, a pharmaceutical executive who wants to find Omega for reasons of her own.  But when Ford becomes a prime suspect in a series of suspicious deaths, he realizes that he can trust no one...not his fellow doctors, not a government seeking to regulate the use of antibiotics, not even the enigmatic Helen.  Caught in the middle of a war where powerful men play God and greed can determine who lives and who dies, Ford knows that the only way to save his daughter--and countless others--is to take on the health-care industry itself.  What he uncovers is more horrifying than he could ever have imagined.

Meticulously researched, unrelentingly suspenseful, bestselling author Patrick Lynch gives us a gripping and unsettling medical thriller that brings our most frightening health care nightmares as close as tomorrow's headlines.



Highlights of Campbell Scott's career include the films The Sheltering Sky, Dead Again, Singles, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, Big Night, which he co-directed, and Daytrippers.  He has also starred on Broadway in an acclaimed production of Long Day's Journey Into Night.  He can also be heard on the audio production of The Burning Man, also available on BDD Audiocassette.

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