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Cobra Event

Preston, Richard

12,185 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679457143 / ISBN 13: 9780679457145
Published by Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A., 1997
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Flash Books (Audubon, NJ, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

1st Edition. 1st Printing. Number line says printing #2. Random house uses #2 with 1st editions, 1st printings. New copy. Never read. Not price clipped. Not a remainder. Tiny smudge on top of jacket binding. Beautiful copy of book and jacket. COLLECTOR'S COPY. Bookseller Inventory # 000844

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Cobra Event

Publisher: Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

The Cobra Event is the story of a secret counter-terror operation.  It is set in motion one spring morning in New York City when a seventeen-year-old student wakes up feeling vaguely ill.  She seems to be coming down with a cold.  Hours later she is having violent seizures, blood is pouring out of her nose, and she has begun a hideous process of self-cannibalization.  Soon, other gruesome deaths of a similar nature have been discovered, and the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta sends a forensic pathologist. an expert in epidemiology, to investigate.  What she finds precipitates a federal crisis.
    
The details of this story are fictional, but they are based on a scrupulously thorough inquiry into the history of biological weapons and their use by civilian and military terrorists.  "The creation of advanced biological weapons using methods of genetic engineering and biotechnology is sometimes known as 'black biology,'" Richard Preston writes.  The extent to which the products of black biology are available nearly everywhere in the world is shocking.  Preston's sources for his story include members of the FBI and the United States military, public health officials, intelligence officers in foreign governments, and scientists who have been involved in the development and testing of strategic bioweapons.  The stories of what they have seen and what they expect to happen and how they plan to deal with it are chilling.
    
The Cobra Event is not science fiction.  It is a dramatic, heart-stopping account of a very real threat, told with the skill and authority that made Richard Preston's The Hot Zone an internationally acclaimed bestseller.

Review:

In New York City in the late '90s, a 17-year-old girl heads off to her private school even though she has a cold. By art class her nose is gushing mucus and she's severely disoriented. Within seconds, it seems, she's in convulsions and, most bizarrely, can't stop biting herself. All the reader can do is hope she'll die quickly, but Kate Moran's body still has a few more disgusting turns to undergo, and Richard Preston--a Jacobean master of ceremonies par excellence--takes us through them in bizarre and bloody detail.

Clearly, whatever Kate had was a head cold with a scientific vengeance. Preston's heroine, Alice Austen, a doctor with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, realizes--in the first of several gripping autopsy scenes--that the girl's nervous system had been virtually destroyed. So far, only one other person is known to have died in the same way, but he was a homeless man. Austen must connect the two cases, seemingly linked only by the subway, before the media gets hold of them and drums up a paranoia-fest--and before the virus's creator can kill again.

The Cobra Event is itself a paranoia-fest, a provocative thriller that makes you wonder exactly how much bioterrorism is taking place in the real world. Preston, best known for his terrifying chronicle of the Ebola virus, The Hot Zone, and other impeccably researched nonfictions, is not content to create fast-paced nightmarish scenes. His novel is instead a complex morality tale anchored in uncomfortable fact. Preston is keen to convey the "invisible history" of bioweapons engineering and, equally, to show the unsung heroism of his scientific detectives (along with that of the nurses and technicians who literally sacrifice their lives for medicine). Like their creator, these characters are not without a sense of humor. One calls the manmade virus "the ultimate head cold." Readers will never forget literally dozens of scenes and will never again see the subway, rodents, autopsy knives, and--above all--runny noses in the same light.

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