Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bodies on White Mattresses

There are hundreds of them, thousands.  Agonized, nameless faces and ransacked bodies writhing in desperation on white mattresses.  An IV drips into one arm of each.
The beds are clean, the facilities immaculate.  The glaring lights upon the brilliant white beds only accent the appalling conditions of the patients.  They are crammed together, side by side and end to end.  Thousands of adjacent hospital beds.
A phone is ringing.  I ignore it and walk like a zombie down the rows of beds; my eyes cast from one face to the next.  Beside me, a feeble plea comes forth from a teenaged voice.
“Please . . .”

Excerpt from The Vesuvius Isotope, the first Katrina Stone novel. Buy The Vesuvius Isotope in print or ebook.

From the ancient ruins beneath Mount Vesuvius, a two-thousand-year-old document has emerged. It is the only text ever attributed to the ambitious, inquisitive, and cryptic last pharaoh of Egypt...

When her Nobel laureate husband is murdered, biologist Katrina Stone can no longer ignore the secrecy that has increasingly pervaded his recent behavior. Her search for answers leads to a two-thousand-year-old medical mystery and the life of one of history’s most enigmatic women. Following the trail forged by her late husband, Katrina must separate truth from legend as she chases medicine from ancient Italy and Egypt to a clandestine modern-day war. Her quest will reveal a legacy of greed and murder and resurrect an ancient plague into the twenty-first century.

Kristen Elise, Ph.D. is a drug discovery biologist and the author of The Vesuvius Isotope and The Death Row Complex. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, stepson, and three canine children. 

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