Virals by Kathy Reichs

This action-packed mystery has a little bit of everything:  a very cold murder case, four very smart teens, one very cute puppy, and some DNA-altering viruses.  What could possible go wrong for Tory Brennan and her friends?   To start with, someone is trying to kill them.

Tory has just moved to tiny Morris Island to live with the father she never knew after her mother’s death.  She is content to hang out and explore the islands with the other science geeks–all children of the scientists who work at the research station.  They band together to rescue a wolfdog puppy from a secret research lab when they become infected with a rare strain of canine parvovirus that worms its way into their DNA.  Now they are not just friends, but they are united as a pack.  They call themselves the VIRALS and struggle to control their new super-senses and reflexes.  Can they outsmart the killer of a teen forty years ago before he turns his sights on them?

I found this story to be a real page-turner.  It opens with the four teens dodging bullets as they flee through the brush and doesn’t let up until the last page.  I saw some of the pieces come together, but I was still surprised by a few twists at the end.  At times I found the first person narration a little abrupt, but it fits the voice of Tory Brennan well.  This girl is all about action.  Even though she is the newcomer to the island, she is quick to take the lead, especially in plotting the less than legal activities.

After reading this one, I’m definitely off to the library to read some more Temperance Brennan (she is Tory’s aunt, after all) novels or off to the couch to watch some episodes of Bones.   Fans of both will enjoy Virals by Kathy Reichs.  And yes, there is already a sequel, Seizure, involving pirates and sunken treasure.

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