Zol Szabo, is public health doctor for the Hamilton Ontario region. He is also a single parent to a seven-year-old, Max, because his wife could not deal with Max’s physical disability. But Sol thinks there is hope for Max in an injection of a miraculous new substance called “Endotox” that may loosen the contractures of his arm. Soon he his investigating a cluster of variant CJD (mad cow) cases that may be related to Endotox. But they also seem to be connected to the grocery store where Sol does his shopping. The products that all victims had in common were an imported candy and a sausage, both Max’s favorites.

Conspiracy theories about corrupt pharmaceutical companies and the antics of a pair of unethical mink farmers lead the investigation in many different directions, all personally threatening to Sol because of the health of his son or the ire of his boss. Pressure from his superiors to avoid publicity cramps Sol’s freedom. He seeks help from an attractive woman detective who, of course, sticks with him to the terrifying (and satisfying) conclusion.


The resolution to these mysterious cases trades on superb medical reasoning and vivid imagination—a slow virus pathogen like the “Mad Cow” agent, a novel pathological picture, a co-factor infectious agent. Sol’s anxiety for his son invokes the tables-turned feelings of health-care providers when “rules” come to affect themselves and their loved ones.

The author has had a thirty year career in infectious diseases and emergency medicine. His adventure is set near the Ontario region that experienced a dreadful E. Coli contamination of water in 2000 that left 2,300 people sick and seven dead. The hero of that story, Dr. Murray McQuigge, was an unassuming medical officer of health, just like Sol.  


ECW Press

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