cover image The Trudeau Vector

The Trudeau Vector

Juris Jurjevics, . . Viking, $24.95 (402pp) ISBN 978-0-670-03437-6

Soho Press cofounder and publisher Jurjevics gives a knowing nod to apocalyptic plot expectations for biohazard thrillers, but the real passion of his debut lies in presenting difficult science clearly, creating complex characters and playing Cassandra on the environment. Four members of Arctic Research Station Trudeau go missing: three of them turn up, still in their cold-weather suits, twisted into positions of inexplicably grotesque and agonizing death; the fourth lays nearby, naked and frozen solid. Jessie Hanley, an epidemiologist working for a California biotech firm, is hired by the Canadian government to parachute into the isolated facility and track down the cause of the mysterious deaths. Jurjevics lovingly details the Trudeau Station facility, bringing its scientific community to life along with the brutal but beautiful surrounding Arctic environment. A parallel plot features several Russian submarines and a cold war secret that eventually comes to light and bears on the pathogen's origins. It slows down the search for the virulent, always-fatal disease. While not quite over-the-top enough for bestsellerdom, Jurjevics's debut will lure those with a taste for deep science, medical intricacies and a plot that twists and shines like the aurora borealis. 5-city author tour . (On sale Aug. 22)