Novel "Codon Zero" Portends New Reality: A Designer Plague

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What makes Jim Hendee’s new novel "Codon Zero" so timely and frightening is the announcement last week in Geneva that scientists have mutated the H5N1 bird flu virus into a form that could cause a deadly human pandemic, a virus so deadly bio-security experts fear it could kill more than the tens of millions of people who died in the 1918-1919 outbreak of the Spanish flu. Such a weapon and pandemic is eerily forecast and described in Hendee’s new novel, published by The book describes a designer plague bio-engineered by a secretive group of molecular geneticists bent on forcing state sponsors of terrorism to stop their hostilities and come to the peace table.

“I put a lot of research into this novel,” said Hendee. “The story takes place in the near future, but the possibility of a bio-engineered virus targeted at a race of people is real. The Jews and Arabs are both Semitic people and share a common genetic history. The virus in this book targets those genes.”

The protagonist of the novel, Jason Stouter, is a former intelligence officer and is tricked into subjecting the leaders of Israel and Arab nations to the virus, dubbed the Middle East Plague by news agencies. Through the cooperative efforts of his friend in the FBI and two sexy but dangerous women he meets along the way, Jason endeavors to stop the spread of the virus yet allow the geneticists’ dream of peace to go forward. The surprise ending shows the latent and terrible power of genetically engineered microbes.

“An American James Bond for the 21st century” (Kirkus Review). “Codon Zero is an action-packed thriller...well-researched” (ForeWord Clarion Review). “Codon Zero provides a thrill-a-minute ride...the emotional pulse is dramatic” (U.S. Review of Books). The novel is attaining four and five stars on and and, and is available through the Internet as paperback, hardcover, eBook or Kindle. The novel's Web site with reviews, sales links, and author information is located at

About, founded in 2002 and located in Raleigh, NC, distributes its books in over 100 countries. It has received an A+ business rating by the Better Business Bureau of North Carolina.

About the Author. Dr. Jim Hendee has worked for the U.S. Government for over 20 years and has authored many scientific papers. He currently lives in Pompano Beach, Florida.


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