HC $26.99, TPPL
First Line/s: The news of Anders Eckman's death came by way of Aerogram, a piece of bright blue airmail paper that served as both the stationery and, when folded over and sealed along the edges, the envelope.
Setting: First 50 pages, Minnesota; remainder of book, the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, particularly west of Manaus, where the Lakashi tribe live. Contemporary.
Dr. Marina Singh: American mother, Indian father, born and raised in Minnesota with her mother, visiting, as a child upon occasion, her father in Calcutta. Trained until residency as a doctor - on obstetrician, then switching to pharmacology and working for Vogel Pharmaceutical. Now 42, she shares an office with fellow cholesterol researcher Anders Eckman and is seeing her boss, the head of Vogel, in secret, since that's how Mr. Fox wants it kept. As a secret.
But Anders, after being sent on a mission to find a Vogel researcher in the Amazon of South America, dies of a fever in the rainforest. And it's Marina that's sent to figure out what happened and how the vague research of Dr. Annick Swenson is progressing. It's not easy to find Dr. Swenson, who has made sure that her location in the jungle is a total secret. Dr. Swenson had been Marina's mentor in her med school days, and there's a mysterious connection between the two that we slowly discover. Marina's search for Dr. Swenson and what happened to her friend and coworker becomes quite a story.
Magnificent writing. Fascinating setting. A mystery to solve. A great amount of research. And a satisfying story, that I hated to end.
Marina thought of the crickets and the meadowlarks, the rabbits and the deer, the Disney book of wildlife that slept in the wide green meadows of her home state. "No bullet ants," she said. Her scalp was soaked, her underwear, the ground beneath her feet loosened as streams of water sluiced between the trees. The heard a high whistle piercing through the thunder and wondered if it was their imagination. Imagination played a major role in the jungle, especially during a storm.What a wonderfully satisfying story, the perfect way to pass a weekend of laziness. I read her Magician's Assistant awhile ago, I've got to put some of her other's, particularly Bel Canto, on my upcoming radar.