Daniel Mann should have his Ph.D. by now, but an accident left his mom paralyzed at age 48. So, he is working at a job he really doesn’t enjoy to pay for her care. He feels guilty about the way he left his last job and proposes a way to merge the two companies. As part of the goodwill team, Daniel, a biochemist, goes to Seoul to help deliver a flu vaccine to the American troops.
Dr. Tonia Benedict is once again Daniel’s boss and she holds on to grudges. She blames him for the failure of her former company. While in South Korea together, they engage in a push-me/pull-me friendship. Should the vaccine work as planned the new consolidated company stock should jump significantly.
Veronica (Varsity) Kohl is a news reporter covering the increased tensions between the North and South. Daniel met her on the plane and developed a deep crush on her. She has asked him to be her guide, yet everywhere they go they end up in trouble. Is she really interested in him or to the places his Korean family can get her access?
In the meantime, a coronavirus has leaped from sick cows in North Korea to humans. It is a rather hardy virus and has a considerably longer incubation period than SARS or MERS. During a visit to refugees that were allowed to leave the North to the South, many of who carry the virus, Daniel becomes the face of South Korea welcoming these folks into the country. Then things get complicated.
Rhine’s novel, The K2 Virus, is a medical thriller that explains the science involved while intermingling with a good mystery. We follow the virus from the first moment it leaps into a human or patient Zero. Every time there is a possibility of exposing the existence of the virus someone tries to redirect the investigation by killing or trying to kill a key player. Tensions between North and South Korea go to an all-time high.
All the time Daniel is caught between his infatuation of the mysterious Varsity and the hot/cold friendship with his boss, Tonia. Add to the mix his traditional Korean family and Daniel is like a lost puppy, not sure where to turn or what to do. When he accidentally stumbles upon the K2 virus everything in his world changes and not all of it for the good.
This was an enjoyable read. I had a hard time putting it down. The mystery behind the virus mixed in with Daniel’s social ineptness around women made for a good combination. The ending was slightly surprising.
5 out of 5 stars.
I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.