Plaguemaker by Tim Downs

Holley's Review #10 of 12
Plaguemaker by Tim Downs
2007 Christy Award, Suspense

The Black Plague, riding the backs of rats, swept over Europe in the 1300’s and became infamous as one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. Worldwide deaths were estimated at 75 million people….it is believed that 30-60% of the population of Europe perished during that time and the massive death toll changed the course of the development of Western civilization. Outbreaks of the plague have occurred over the years since the 14th century, but never with such deadly results. Fast forward to the present day. FBI agent Nathan Donovan is investigating what seems to be a fairly average murder case until the scene techs discover the fleas. Now the clues are mounting up and Nathan is in a race against time to stop the destruction of the U.S. and the world as they are threatened with the pestilence once again, only this time it is a genetically engineered, even more lethal killing machine.

This was the first faith-based thriller I’ve attempted to read since Tim LaHaye began his Left Behind series nearly thirteen years ago and I must say that the difference is refreshing. Downs knows how to write a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and the Christianity is no where near as aggressively proselytized as it is in the Left Behind books. Donovan’s interactions with his ex-wife and his attempts to get information from the elderly Mr. Li are by turns funny and poignant without approaching cloying. This novel made me consider themes of forgiveness, selfless love and personal sacrifice while at the same time I wondered if I had enough duct tape at home to seal off the windows and doors in case of a pandemic. I think that’s a pretty tall order for one book. :)

I’ve obviously been reading the wrong Christian/Inspirational fiction if I’ve been missing this!

Happy Reading!