This was a fun read. It sort of reminds me of one of Dan Brown's early books, Deception Point. The excitement and the whirlwind of action are similar, and the books both revolve around government conspiracies. But both books are a bit hazy on the details about how intelligence groups operate and some military-related information. BUT, that's pretty typical of action-thrillers that involve the government- it's usually a bit exaggerated and larger than life. That's what makes it a good fiction read. And just as I enjoy Dan Brown's work, I enjoyed David Wellington's.
Jim Chapel is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He lost an arm in battle and has been equipped with a futuristic, state-of-the-art prosthetic hand. He went to work for a civilian intelligence group after the military, but then one day, he is contacted by a highly secretive government official, who thinks Jim Chapel might be just the man he needs to save the country from catastrophe.
The government has been conducting experiments into gene modification, and the results of those experiments are now loose. The chimeras are formidable opponents- stronger, faster, and much more aggressive than any human. And they are rumored to be carrying a virus as well- one so deadly that the CIA is rounding up anyone who has come into contact with it. Even if Chapel manages to neutralize the chimeras, he may have exposed himself to a virus that could destroy his life, and make him a target for the government to "deal with" as well.
Chapel is in a bad position from the start. He's not being told everything, and as the story progresses, he realizes that he may not be able to trust anyone involved with this case. How will one man stop a group of cold-blooded killers with superhuman strength? And even if he stops them, will he be able allowed to return to his previous life?
This was the first book I'd read of Wellington's, but it looks like it's a bit of a departure from his other works. He is known for a zombie series, and some werewolf and vampire fiction. I may have to pick some of those up. Chapel seems like a good character for a recurring protagonist, though. I imagine we'll see more of him in Wellington's upcoming works. In fact, I found out there is another Jim Chapel novella, called Minotaur. I will probably go ahead and buy that too. So many books...so little time.