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In the Book of Revelations, the Four Horsemen herald the arrival of the Apocalypse. When the First Horseman thunders forth, pestilence will spread throughout the land. For the First Horseman is Plague...The Spanish Flu killed thirty million people worldwide in 1918. Now, with history threatening to repeat itself, a scientific expedition speeds toward a remote island in the Arctic Sea to recover strains of the lethal virus preserved under layers of ice. For Washington Post reporter Frank Daly, it is the story of a lifetime. But his plan to join the expedition is ruined by a ferocious storm that delays him. And when he meets up with the ship upon its return to port in Norway, it is clear that something has gone terribly wrong. Fear haunts the faces of the crew. No one will talk. And someone wants Daly to stop asking questions. But if there's a wall around the facts, Daly will batter it down. Persistent and resourceful, he knows how to get answers when none are given. Yet the more he uncovers, the more dangerous the stakes become. Until at last he comes face-to-face with a shocking secret, pitching him into a harrowing race to prevent nothing less than...apocalypse.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099184027
ISBN-10: 0099184028
Format: Paperback
(178mm x 110mm x 27mm)
Pages: 432
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 22-May-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » The eponymous horseman is of the Apocalyptic variety, and his speciality is plague. When a disease-ravaged village in North Korea is razed to the ground, connections are made by reporter Frank Daly to a shadowy group of terrorists bent on unleashing epidemic and death onto the world. Familiar territory, perhaps, but Case (author of the compelling Genesis Code) has the unusual knack of making us feel we are reading this kind of narrative for the first time. There are some totally original touches (such as the deadly treasure ransacked from an 80-year-old tomb in the Arctic Circle) to keep things humming, and Daly is a solidly drawn protagonist. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Superchilling tale of the 1918 Spanish Flu (which killed 20 to 30 million people) from the pseudonymous Case (the well-received biotech thriller The Genesis Code, 1997). Word is received by the CIA that a quarter of the population of the North Korean village of Tasi-ko has died of this flu; the other villagers, it seems, were executed just to contain the epidemic. No vaccine exists. Instead of building bombs, have the psychopathic North Koreans boiled up a batch of superflu that's gotten out of hand? Since the planet seems threatened by a global pandemic, a US medical research team is dispatched to the Norwegian permafrost to dig up five Norwegian coal miners who died of that same flu strain in 1918 and were buried on Kopervik, a far island in the Arctic Sea, and whose frozen lungs may well still hold intact the deadly but fragile virus. A vast storm delays Washington Past reporter Frank Daly from joining the medical team before its return from the graves at Kopervik. When he does catch up, he finds that virologists Anne Adair (a genius) and Benton Kicklighter have returned empty-handed and under guard. Someone had already stolen the miners' bodies before the American team arrived, and the predecessor left behind a Picasso-esque fresco of a giant white horse. Does the horse have anything to do with Luc Solange, head of the Temple of Light, who as the First Horseman of the Apocalypse wants to do away with industrialization? Mind-blowing Arctic amazement and an unholy crew of fanatics combine lethally to destroy the reader's sleep, as do the really smart Frank and Annie. Far more realistic than Stephen King's superflu in The Stand. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - John Case

John Case is the pseudonym for the husband and wife writing team of Jim and Carolyn Hougan, both published authors in their own right. After Carolyn died in 2007, Jim left Washington and now lives in Aston, Virginia. For many years Jim Hougan has been a journalist specialising in intelligence issues. He has published widely in the field and has made several accalimed documentaries for US programmes including 60 Minutes. John Case is the author of six thriller novels including the New York Times bestseller, The Genesis Code.

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