Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Deep Zone by James M. Tabor

Dr. Hallie Leland, formerly employed by BARDA, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, is called back by her former boss, Dr. Barnard to head an expedition into Mexico while avoiding bandits and the military to enter a super cave she had survived once before.

5,000 feet deep in the Cueva de Luz Cave, the substance, Moonmilk exists and can combat a disease resistant to strong antibiotics attacking the troops in Afghanistan.  Hallie and her team of four must travel down through bat infested caverns, dive deep sumps using small rebreather tanks and climb down vertical cliffs in complete darkness in one of the biggest super caves in the world.

A shadowy group of business men has sent mercenaries to intercept Hallie after she completes her mission and take the Moonmilk from her.  Time is running out for the soldiers and medical staff exposed to a bacteria called ACE. Failure for Hallie is not an option when she finds herself again employed by the very government who had wrongly fired her.

Fast paced action – especially once Hallie and the expedition enters the cave, bring about one of the best books written so far this year. James M. Tabor does very well describing the cave.  With his previous knowledge of caving as evidenced in his nonfiction thriller, Blind Descent, the information he provides on caves like the Cueva De Luz Cave in Mexico is fascinating reading.

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