Artie Marshall is a scientist. She is perpetually underfunded, relegated to a damp basement, and besieged on all sides by sexist colleagues. Added to that she is immersed in a messy divorce. But she’s never been happier: she recently landed her own lab, based in an eclectic think-tank housed in the leafy suburbs of North London.
Artie spends her days studying an obscure cat virus that nobody else in the world seems to have heard of – or cares about. But her arcane little research problem suddenly becomes worryingly relevant as local cats start dropping dead overnight. Matters get worse when people start getting infected too.
Working with her right-hand man Mark, her vet friends and her street-smart technician, Artie races to get to the bottom of the ballooning epidemic. Unexpected assistance arrives in the form of two basement-dwelling mathematicians – a sociopathic recluse and his scary, otherworldly savant mentor. When their mathematical models suggest that the cat plague might actually be more sinister than it first appears, Artie gets drawn into a web of secrets and lies that threatens to blow apart her lab family, undermine her sanity – and endanger her own life.
About the Author
Jennifer Rohn (http://www.jennyrohn.com/) leads a research lab at University College London in the United Kingdom, studying how bacteria subvert human cells during infection. In her spare time, she moonlights as a science writer, journalist, broadcaster and pundit. She blogs about the scientific life at Mind The Gap (http://occamstypewriter.org/mindthegap/) and on the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/jenny-rohn). She also created and continues to run the science culture online magazine LabLit.com (http://www.lablit.com), which has been highlighted in the New York Times, US National Public Radio, the Guardian and the Boston Globe. ‘Lab lit’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lab_lit), a term she coined, is a small but growing genre of mainstream fiction about scientists and science as a profession (as opposed to science fiction). She is the author of two other such lab lit novels about modern-day scientists – Experimental Heart (https://www.amazon.com/Experimental-Heart-Jennifer-L-Rohn/dp/0879698764/) and The Honest Look (https://www.amazon.com/Honest-Look-Jennifer-L-Rohn/dp/1936113112/). She is also no stranger to rebellion, having founded Science is Vital (http://scienceisvital.org.uk/), a well-known grassroots organization campaigning for UK research funding.