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Hardcover Book Details
  • 10/2022
  • 9781610885577
  • 320 pages
  • $27.95
Dissection: A Medical and Political Thriller
Bruce Bortz, editor (anthology)
D.C. heart surgeon Dr. Steven Leeds is suddenly besieged by a handful of immensely complicated heart attack and stroke cases, all caused by a rare arterial injury—a dissection. And all the victims have first received innocuous-looking cards announcing: “Your heart attack/stroke will arrive within one hour!” Private detective Kirk Miner and FBI agent Jack Mulville investigate, and they immediately suspect Leeds’ former lover, Dr. Silvana Moretti, a brilliant research scientist who harbors a grudge against all the victims. Then when prominent people in the U.S. government begin to receive these same threatening cards and almost immediately experience these same deadly vascular emergencies, it falls to the unlikely team of three—the headstrong FBI agent, the gifted private investigator, and the brilliant but conflicted heart surgeon—to find the actual perpetrators and to snuff out a catastrophic plot that only the medically astute can divine. Dr. Cristina LePort’s story is vaguely reminiscent of the artfully nightmarish scenarios in Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp novels, combined with the fast-paced tempo of Robin Cook’s medical thrillers. Her Dissection features page-turning suspense, action-packed climaxes, and thoughtful character development, set against a believable backdrop of medical science informed by her long career as a cardiologist. Her style, though accessible, is more sophisticated than superficial, and, with strong protagonists on both sides of the gender divide, appeals to both male and female readers. DISSECTION is a taut thriller with complex characters that combines cutting-edge medical technology with horrific yet still believable political consequences. It may well be the best medical thriller you’ve ever read. Dr. Cristina LePort, originally from Bologna, Italy, is a longtime physician specializing in Internal Medicine and Cardiology in southern California, but her first love is writing fiction. DISSECTION represents her brilliant print debut.
Reviews
When mysterious tan cards start appearing in the mail, causing their recipients to suffer massive heart attacks and strokes, doctors and FBI agents struggle to find the perpetrator in this medical and political thriller. All leads initially point to Silvana Moretti, a biophysicist with a cutting-edge invention that seems to be causing the deaths, and when her grudge against one of the victims comes to light, Moretti is pulled into the investigation, along with her former boyfriend, cardiologist Steven Leeds, who is convinced something’s not right. Before long, he learns that Moretti’s daughter has been kidnapped, and the situation explodes when a government official is threatened and terrorists become involved.

LePort, a cardiologist, draws on her own experience to bring the medical crises in this debut to life, crafting a frightening plot while skillfully describing surgical processes alongside the political issues that all too often impact medical care. Less successful are the Capitol Hill machinations, which deflect the book’s focus some as FBI agent Jack Mulville and private investigator Kirk Miner race to find answers and prevent a national disaster.

Although the emphasis is on action, LePort expertly crafts the key characters: Leeds’s love affair with Moretti interferes with his need to know the truth about the bioterror attacks, and at the other end of the spectrum is a terrorist, twisted by a horrific interpretation of Islam while driven by desperate secular needs. Caught in between is Agent Mulville, described by Leeds as “a real thug,” who is forced to expand his worldview and rethink his reliance on procedure when bureaucracy starts to get in the way of saving lives. LePort makes it clear that no technology is as frightening as the darkest parts of the human mind, and readers will be satisfied with the characters’ well-deserved fates as they travel to the nail-biting finish.

Takeaway: A team of investigators and doctors race to stop bioterror disaster.

Great for fans of: Michael Palmer’s Side Effects; Jenifer Ruff’s Only One Cure.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: NA
Editing: B
Marketing copy: B+

Formats
Hardcover Book Details
  • 10/2022
  • 9781610885577
  • 320 pages
  • $27.95

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