cover image Panacea


F. Paul Wilson. Tor, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8516-1

This suspenseful paranormal thriller from Wilson (Fear City) introduces evil CIA agent Nelson Fife and the religious extremists of the 536 Brotherhood, a monastic order whose members dedicate their lives to wiping out a miracle cure and its guardians. Dr. Laura Fanning, a New York City medical examiner and mother of a deathly ill child, stumbles on evidence of this miracle potion while conducting several routine autopsies. Her scientific mind refuses to believe in its power, but she agrees to travel practically around the world in search of this cure at the behest of an incredibly rich, terminally ill mystery man. She takes along his equally mysterious aide, Rick Hayden, as her bodyguard. Laura and Rick track the cure's origins via a series of tattoos on the guardians' corpses. Tension mounts as Nelson hacks Laura's phone and sets in motion a plan to make her unaware of the danger mounting at home, so she can lead him to the guardians of the cure. At times Wilson tries too hard to educate the reader instead of moving the story forward, but for fans of mysterious ancient sects and miraculous possibilities, it's an entertaining tale, underlined by a clear battle between good and evil. Agent: Al Zuckerman, Writers House. (July)