by Alex Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Beijing Red” (Crooked Lane 2016) is the series debut for what promises to be an exciting, fast-moving adventure starring Nick Foley, former Navy SEAL now working for a non-profit in China, and Dr. Chen Dazhong (nicknamed ‘Dash’), a brilliant and beautiful bio-scientist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. When a virulent disease breaks out at the site Foley is working, Dash is called in to unravel its origins and determine how to contain it. What she fears is Ebola turns out to be much more worse. When her bosses try to shut down her investigation, she finds an unlikely ally and partner in Foley. Together they search for the cause of a violent illness that is 100% fatal to those who contract it, not knowing how close to home it will be for Dash.
This is the first in a collaborative partnership between Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson, writing under the pseudonym of ‘Alex Ryan’. The plot is well-developed, unfolds believably, and is fast-moving and tight. It includes deep details about identifying and analyzing bioweapons, almost a procedural on this topic. The characters are well-constructed and appealing, with lots of charisma between Dash and Nick to make the series even more exciting. Ryan does a completely natural job of showing how these two very different people ended up relying on each other to save Beijing, delving into their motivations and desires in such a way I never doubted it could happen. The setting in China is a treat. It’s clear these two authors are well-versed on Chinese geography, culture, and customs.
Overall, this is a winner. I’m looking forward to their next in the series.
More scientific thrillers:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.