Why did I love this book?
This book is about a pandemic. It was published in April 2020, just when Covid-19 was causing worldwide lockdowns. But Wright finished the book well before the outbreak was discovered. What prescience! And it is so meticulously researched (he’s an investigative journalist for The New Yorker). The major character is an epidemiologist at the CDC who witnesses the spread of a virulent virus in Mecca and spends the rest of the novel looking for an antidote. His account of the devastating effects of the pandemic involves bioweapons, cyber warfare, and an apocalyptic finale. It made me grateful that Covid-19 did not turn out to be as destructive as Wright’s imaginary virus.