An extremely powerful novel
of the biowar apocalypse
THE MEYERSCO HELIX
by Andrew McCoy
First review in!
THE MEYERSCO HELIX
by Andrew McCoy
Review by: willie wit on Sep. 12, 2011
An excellent thriller that quickly combines a larger than life scenario with your new found concerns for the likeable main characters.
In the grand tradition you have good to root for and varying degrees of bad to dislike, with a healthy dose of sex and violence giving a sharp edge to the interesting storyline. One that constantly twists and turns.
It is hard to judge the size of a book on the Kindle but this felt like a big read. A sense of depth is achieved by the healthy blend of elements within it, a good balance of science, action and a range of varied characters are formed well by the quality of writing throughout.
A great read from its beginning to the well executed ending.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
Holy cow what a ride!
By S. Edwards (Spanaway, WA United States)
(REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase
This book took me for some unexpected turns and the ending was a bit of a surprise. There were a few chapters with more foul language than I would like but by the time I got to it, I was hooked in the story. Well worth the read for sure. I downgraded to four stars mainly because of the foul language.
I read the Kindle versions. There are several typos but they don't detract from the story.
Never a dull moment!
By Dr Benjamin Pittman
After a leisurely start where we learn about the everyday life of the US President and his humdrum patterns and idiosyncrasies, within the context of that challenging physical environment, the White House, the action really starts to ramp up, eventually to reach breakneck speed.
Dr Stella Christopher is VP of clinical testing of ethical drugs for Meyersco and off on vacation for three weeks, a tell tale bump of potential pregnancy being noticed by an observant work colleague. Stella arrives home in full vacation mode to the delicious and satisfying sexual attentions of her man Rib - aka Alexander Ribicoff - Silver Star soldier and probable war hero, former football star and civil rights attorney. Next morning they head off the country to camp and attempt to capture a female Gillian's Redhair Mole as part of a personal-interest and in-home breeding program to help save an endangered species.
Upon selecting a campsite, they discover a substantial lakeside duck shooter hide, all set up for three people and with essential mod cons to compensate for the extreme challenges of rustic life. Now, aside from the serious business of the female mole, their sybaritic idyll and lakeside trysts of bliss and passion are rudely interrupted by an unsavoury band of local yokels sporting the charming names of Kee, Tolk, Bliss and Uris, upset, it seems by Stella and Rib's proximity to their deluxe duck season retreat. After Stella and Rib are labeled "environmentalists" and forced to take on the proud redneck contempt for such persons, a serious confrontation ensues and champion athlete and soldier, Rib, still in prime performance mode and aided by Stella, sees off the band of thugs, having done some serious damage to their pride and physical persons and also destroyed their guns, which are bent across his knee and consigned to the depths of the lake. Collateral damage during the confrontation is Stella and Rib's captured female mole, blasted to a soup by a gun blast and, the root cause of Rib's serious displeasure at the total intrusion upon his space and person.
The local sheriff and deputy (a father and son act) turn up with an arrest warrant but are soon charmed by Rib's celebrity. A potentially nasty confrontation with the law in such intellectually limiting and trigger-happy climes, is thus avoided. The routine matter, as it then becomes, can be dealt with through the filing of a report (which Rib is asked to write himself, being an attorney and thus having a way with words) and the posting of bail on personal surety. However, the local thug-villains - seriously worse for wear and smarting - are bent on revenge. Opportunity knocks when Rib, intending to lay an official complaint at the local military establishment, Camp Zaharoff, where the key thugs are actually employed, gets somewhat out of his depth within a setting able to be controlled and manipulated because all is governed by secretive and arcane military code, law and process. Things begin to go horribly wrong, starting with a vehicular cat-and-mouse game between Rib and assorted villains en route. Tolk - he of murderous intent - plans to do away with Rib on the pretext of his being illegally on sensitive military land and resisting arrest. The confrontation, right outside Dr Prozesky's laboratory of biological warfare research, has calamitous results. A bullet from Tolk's gun, intended to ensure Rib's demise, passes through the flesh of his upper arm, then a window and a then a laboratory flask, releasing a deadly purple genie cloud of biological agent, held previously in check within laboratory confinement.
Rib, although in a bad way, having semi-dispatched Tolk and co for a second time, sees the purple tendrils send his nasty opponents to the land of instant death and seeks to outrun its deadly breath and touch. Tolk, above all, gets his just dues of death but the action has merely begun. A phosphorous firestorm is unleashed so that those affected by the flowing contagion, are incinerated in a flash. Stella survives and her doctoring skills come in handy tending to those in need, whose fate it was to survive the chemical holocaust and aftermath at Camp Zaharoff, Dureville. It is then we learn of a project coded K116, a chemical war substance able to be knocked out only by an all-encompassing nuclear explosion. It is a deadly infectious agent able to spread through ground water and all forms of atmospheric moisture, from the decay of infected corpses.
All the President's Men in various government-sanctioned agencies - the FBI included - decide to keep Rib in the dark about a few pertinent details and then, as well as having Kee and his unsavoury and vengeful band after his blood, Rib ends up on the official government list for disposal. Knowing too much and being infected is not a favourable situation; it's double jeopardy and potentially a serious political liability. Bloodhounds are brought in to ensure the desired outcome. Rib, we are told, meets his personal Waterloo in a hail of bullets. By this point, however, we are reasonably convinced the man can walk on water and catch bullets in his teeth. Stella then almost gets bowled over by a tanker, while on her friend Jake's motorboat and out having a bit of serious thinking time on the briny. Then, back on terra firma, another couple of state-sponsored goons in a grey LTD tries to kill her while she is driving Rib's inoffensive but seriously under-powered little Japanese car. Too late, Frayne and Greene realise she is not Rib but by then, things are out of control and Stella ends up it seems, ground to a paste under a Mack truck. The FBI stalwarts then report the LTD stolen in an attempt at denial of any part in the carnage.
Stella somehow survives and is rescued by the Mack truck driver. Somewhat shaken, black and blue and worse for wear, she is delivered home by his Super Mack Taxi Service and in spite being bashed around rather badly, reports for work next day. Frayne and Greene visit her at her office as part of trying to pin the disaster on Rib. Stella's rise to the defense of her man earns her the title of "Goddam five-star platinum-plated ball crusher." These FBI operatives, Frayne and Greene, also turn up at Rib's offices - Stewart, Hessayan, Friedrich and Shannon. We start to wonder if Rib is about to do a Phoenix act, even though senior partner, Shannon, is determined to transfer Rib's substantial equity into Stella's bank account. Now, we already know that Rib is made of extraordinary, super-human stuff and as it transpires, having survived in fact and not died in a firestorm of bullets - then becomes the target of Kee's vigilante, lynch-mob group, fired up with a heady and unpredictable mix of idiot genes, revenge and fantasy.
Through endless trials and extreme tortures on the run, Rib does survive and, using only his bare hands, sends to doggy heaven a determined Doberman, intent on tearing him apart. Then, as the combined human and dog pack look to be gaining on his severely traumatised body, a Good Samaritan and her mule come to Rib's rescue. Rib at last has the potential to survive and escape all pursuers, now also not indecently exposing himself thanks to the Good Samaritan's additional gift of overalls. The Good Samaritan, sadly, is repaid for her troubles by being beaten and raped by the posse in pack think-and-action mode. Then, adding still greater complexity within Rib's pursuer ranks, James, Torrens and Falco from the National Security Agency, join the mix of persons wishing Rib's elimination, and end up in a serious shoot out with the private vigilantes. It's a case of All The President's Men embroiled in a complex conspiracy to silence Rib and thus remove as any threat to the world by his suspected contamination. Poor Rib is really under attack and serious duress. Of course by now he has won our respect through his grit , determination and capacity to survive.
The action in all its complexity is exhausting. Plots and conspiracies interweave and wits - mostly dull - get pitted against each other in a complex kind of dance-fest. So, in a maelstrom of action, cops and robbers with serious intent, buggings, an eminent scientist's review of the chemical cocktail risks churning away within Rib and of the nature of K116, the thugs all end up in Stella and Rib's condo in a super-convention of intent and mayhem. Stella eventually finds a missing Rib through some clever sleuthing and then spirits Rib away to Jake's boat. Kee in the meantime, is waiting for Rib in Stella and Rib's condo, overlooking the boat marina and, complete with rifle and dastardly intent. The bevy of goons of all persuasions is in hot dispute. Sadly, Jake cops Kee's bullet for Rib and ends up churned to a bloody soup in the propellers of his own boat, thus satisfying the blood lust of the local Bull Sharks. The collective villains, however, think it was Rib providing soup to the local shark and fish population and that he has now contaminated the entire area and sealed the fate of the world. It is serious Doomsday stuff.
Then, as Stella whisks Rib away, the President makes the heavy-duty decision to nuke Boston and purge the world of his state-sponsored scientists' blunders in chemical engineering. But, Stella and Rib's tribulations are not over. A nuke-generated tsunami rolls over them and yet another potentially fatal event threatens to wipe them out. But, survive they do and in the great calms after the many storms to which they have been subjected, Dr Stella makes a startling discovery: while reviewing Rib's severely damaged hands, she realises instantly that he is healing and the extreme ravages perpetrated upon his body are gradually dissolving away. In the final analysis, the Camp Zaharoff scientists got it terribly wrong. They created a chemical scourge with potential to destroy the world but in doing so unwittingly with K116, also created an interesting side effect: something within it had the capacity to negate and expel its own poison but also to heal all else. Those who died instantly within its clutches, were clearly not made of the right stuff. We can all breath a major and exhausted sigh of collective relief! Phew!!!
In sum this is a very good read if a rather psychological, intense and physically and mentally exhausting one. It certainly is not recommended for those delicate in nature, delicate in disposition and delicate of stomach. Nor does it come recommended for those squeamish about extreme violence. There is a bit of morality implied as well. Government cannot be trusted and has the inherent capacity, given the ever-present idiot factor, and any conjunction of idiocy and power, to set employees loose on a frolic of their own with, serious risks and consequences for society and all innocent individuals going peacefully about their legitimate business.
McCoy's writing is pretty good overall. It's a bit of a mixed bag but suitable for the themes. A few lines give a bit of chuckle and serious reflection time amidst the very confronting tide of violence:
"..... essence of male mole, the Eau Sauvage of the underground kingdom."
"Grief never passes but it wears down day by day."
"But Baden was in no mood to enjoy onomatopoeia."
And then, a bit of an American Classic from the indomitable lips of Cassius Clay, better known after the Rome Olympics of 1960 as Muhammad Ali:
"Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee."
For it's American setting too, terms like "lawyer" (read attorney) and "goolies" (read balls) suggest the other-Anglo origins of the writer. There is no denying, however, that the suspense is palpable and both Stella and Rib, in every sense of the word, even with Rib's combo of Cape Buffalo and T-Rex constitution, really get put through a mental and physical mincing machine. With assorted government-sponsored thugs and collected other lowlife intent on their annihilation, Stella and Rib are assured of never having to suffer the curse of a dull life.
So, in sum, for those who like action in the fast lane of life and living; conspiracy and other dastardly criminal deeds perpetrated by democratic governments and allied institutions, the Meyersco Helix is a suspense-driven tale of great intensity and an absolute must read! I'm drained but satisfied!