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Reviewed by Richard L DeMoss for Readers' Favorite
Terminal is the first book of a trilogy by John Leifer and deals with bio-terrorism. The book opens at George Mason University at a conference on bio-terrorism attended by 200 people. The two featured speakers, Commander John Hart - a CIA operator officially working through DARPA - and Dr. Elizabeth Wilkens - a senior scientist at the CDC Biosafety Lab - give presentations on genetically modified smallpox and the threat by the United Islamic State of using it as a weapon against the United States. In another part of the world, Leifer introduces us to Ibrahim Almasi al-Bakr, the founder and leader of the UIS, his protege Ahmed Al Hameed, who has formulated a plan to disperse a bio-weapon against the United States, and Beibut Valikhanov, a brilliant Russian scientist who has developed a lethal form of a genetically modified smallpox virus. Disillusioned by the new watered-down stance of Russia, Valikhanov is spirited away and joins Al Hameed in Faisalabad, Pakistan to start putting the plan in action. Over the next year, a bio-weapons lab is set up and made operational to produce the virus and 50 million doses of a vaccine that can be given to the 'Chosen Ones', those who will be determined to be worthy of surviving the global pandemic event.
John Leifer gives a brilliant and detailed account of an event that some day could become a reality. Leifer paints a vivid picture of the attack, the attempts of the United States to contain the virus, and the hunting down and destruction of those who perpetrated the atrocity. He has evidently done a lot of research on Terminal, and the story rings true due the amount of detail he includes in the narrative. It is well documented, and each character is well developed with background detail. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the way Leifer presented it. His narrative is straightforward and easy to follow. One can readily relate to the people who perpetrate the attack, those who try to stop it, and the victims of the attack. Terminal comes to a solid conclusion, but hints that there is more to come. I definitely will get the next book in the series, 8 Seconds to Midnight, and look forward to seeing what comes next.