Monthly Archives: April 2020

The Organ Killers is now COVID: a novel of surgical suspense



For the past eighteen months I’ve been working on The Organ Killers, the final book of the McBride trilogy. It’s a story about a deadly influenza virus that ravages a village in the mountains of Iran–which happens to reside near a BSL 4 laboratory–then spreads to Tehran and other Iranian cities, ultimately decimating the country. From there the viral plague spreads throughout the Middle East, China, Russia, and so on until all of America’s enemies are vanquished. The United States blames Iran for a bioweapons experiment gone bad. Iran denies it. The hero of the story learns the truth and has to battle opposing forces to reveal that truth.


Two months ago I completed the manuscript and passed it on to my first readers. One month ago the first US coronavirus patient was diagnosed here in Seattle, and days after that the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Washington–about two miles from my house–was decimated by CoVid19. As the epidemic quickly turned into a global pandemic, it didn’t take long for the conspiracy theorists to blame China for a botched bioweapons experiment. And while the pandemic unfolded and the conspiracy theories spread, I was struck by the similarities between my novel and the real-life events happening in the world.


Then it occurred to me, when this book is released in the next several months, it’s going to be odd to have a story out there about a viral pandemic originating in Iran and spreading around the globe when there is a real viral pandemic that originated in China. So I decided to revise the manuscript, swapping out Iran for China. The result is CoVid: a novel of surgical suspense.


CoVid remains the third book in the McBride trilogy, and David McBride continues as the protagonist, although he is now known as Dr. David Aaronson (if you read The Organ Growers you will understand why). But, and this is a huge but, this book can be read as a stand-alone novel. There are references to David’s backstory that will pique the interest of uninitiated readers and, hopefully, encourage those readers to pick up the first two books, but I firmly believe you can read CoVid first–a flash forward, if you will–and still go back and enjoy the first two books of the McBride trilogy. Or you can can simply read CoVid and come away satisfied.