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Bio thriller set in New York

22nd November 2022

The Manhattan Project by Paul McNeive, bio thriller set in New York.

Bio thriller set in New York

The Manhattan Project is a fast paced thriller. Tsan Yahoto was just five years old when his father and two older siblings were killed in the Hiroshima bomb attack. Tsan and his mother survived with major wounds and radiation poisoning…After spending months recovering in hospital, Tsan grows up hating all things American with a fervent desire to exact revenge.

He becomes the CEO of a major Japanese based multinational pharmaceutical company, and hatches a plot to wreak havoc on New York. He works with Al Qaeda to execute the plan. The concept is actually quite simple… Americans have an insatiable appetites for prescription medicines and fast food. Tsan works with a New York advertising agency to construct a promotional campaign costing millions. He pitches a pretty standard antibiotic as a cure for a great many illnesses and as an aid to weight loss. The take up is sensational with thousands of people ‘demanding’ the drug from their doctors. Tsan avoids instant FDA action as the drug is already approved as an antibiotic. The number of prescriptions written in the city is in the hundreds of thousands. The pharma industry is corrupt and doctors bank the reward (holidays and conferences in exotic locations) for their part in the process. Antibiotic resistance begins to build in the population.

At the same time there is another string to Tsan’s bow. He buys a small (but successful) fast food chain and converts it into a very major player in the burger market. The two for one and other promotional offers are truly amazing. It seems that all of New York is eating the burgers. The owner of the company, a Libyan, is blackmailed into adding a ‘harmless’ white powder (in fact the antibiotic) to the vats of sauce each night to be distributed to all the outlets (hundreds across Manhattan). Antibiotic resistance continues to build…

Then the masterstroke. A small addition to the powder for the nightly sauce batches brings a very major attack of food poisoning to New York. The treatment in many of the hospitals is the very antibiotic to which the resistant has been built. People, in the hundreds and then thousands, begin to die.

John Wyse, a detective with the NYPD and the boyfriend of one of the employees of the ad agency serving both the drug company and the burger chain, begins to have suspicions as to a possible link. But can he act in the to save New York?

You need to suspend belief a little to read The Manhattan Project, but it is well worth it. The author, Paul McNeive, suffered the amputation of both legs as a child – and grew up taking antibiotics as a treatment for various cuts and bruises that caused infection. He eventually experienced major antibiotic resistance. The book has a message.

A thriller I really enjoyed.

Tony for the TripFiction team

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