t is called Chimera M13.
It is the most dangerous biological weapon on the planet.
It is locked away in a vault.
Terrorists calling themselves The Fallen Angels steal it.
They intend to use it.
Only one man stands between The Fallen Angels and Armageddon.
Dr. Derek Stillwater, troubleshooter for the Department of Homeland Security is that man.
All hell is about to break loose...
Read Chapter One or Chapter Two (PDF format).
THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK
Midnight Ink, Paperback, October 2006, ISBN-10: 0738708836, ISBN-13: 978-0738708836
"Gripping. Unrelenting. Terrifying. Terry has created a bioterrorism thriller that will make you skip food, sex, and sleep to finish reading."
J. A. Konrath, author of Whiskey Sour
"The Devil's Pitchfork is a terrific read, a mad-scientist nightmare that will keep you turning pages until the early morning . . . Read it in the closet, right next to your biohazard suit.
Jay MacLarty, author of Live Wire
"Grips you by the throat and won't let go until the action-packed ending. This techno thriller is a suspense-filled thrill ride."
Joe Moore, co-author of The Grail Conspiracy
"The plot fascinates. Mr. Terry held me firmly in thrall from the start. Whether or not you have any interest in terrorism or chemical warfare, The Devil's Pitchfork is a murder-mystery right up there with the best."
Alan Paul Curtis, Who-Dunnit.com
"A thrill ride in novel form, The Devil's Pitchfork is hands down one of the most gripping novels you'll read this year. The plot resonates deeply in our post 9/11 world and it also features one of the most compelling leading men in recent memory, Derek Stillwater. Quick-witted, willful, but somehow vulnerable, Stillwater is Jack Ryan before he lost a step. Rooting for him in his high stakes race against time is easy; anticipating his reactions to each successive shock and surprise is great fun."
Hank Wagner for Mystery Scene Magazine
From ForeWord Magazine:
"Writers are often advised to write what they know. This author, a microbiologist with experience in tissue and cell culturing, has done that with frightening effectiveness, promising sleepless nights for his readers. Reminiscent of recent terrorist acts in the news, Terry's tale stirs together a sense of imminent death and destruction for thousands across the globe, a conspiracy that involves people in the upper echelons of government, and discord and disagreement between the very agencies, like the FBI and the military, meant to help save the world. He keeps the nightmare real and personal as Stillwater fights his own panic attacks before each exposure to a bio-hazardous situation, and an attractive scientist who participated in the creation of Chimera fights for her life after inadvertently infecting herself with the virus.
Terry is a freelance writer, editor, and novelist... Here, he successfully writes a truly scary scenario, but what's even more frightening is that the events are all too possible, including the terrorists' plan to spread the virus by means of soda cans carried on to airplanes heading to different countries. It makes the reader wonderand worryabout how much fact is in this author's fiction, and just who has control of the devil's pitchfork."
And from David Morrell, co-founder of International Thriller Writers Association and bestselling author of Creepers:
"If you're morbidly fascinated by terrifying viruses like I am, you won't be able to stop reading Mark Terry's debut thriller. It's not that the book is derivativequite the contrary. It's just that Mark has a degree in microbiology and experience with infectious disease research. I get the sense that he also has first-hand knowledge of what it feels like to be in a smothering "spacesuit" amid the hazards of a Level 4 containment unit.
The tense, slow-motion care that those closed facilities demand contrasts with the break-neck speed that the narrative takes on. The main character, Derek Stillwater, is a troubleshooter for Homeland Security who is summoned to investigate a massacre in which a doomsday virus is stolen from a high-security installation. Engineered by U.S. scientists as an experiment, the virus Chimera M13 kills gruesomely within hours, not the days or weeks usually associated with hemorrhagic viruses like Ebola. With no antidote, the virus is capable of eradicating the entire human race in a matter of weeks.
The book has several disturbing villains. One is the man responsible for the theft of the virus: a presumed-dead, charismatic cult leader who has many identities and was once Stillwater's partner. Another villain is the U.S. government's incompetent bureaucracy, and yet another is the group of arrogant scientists who engineered Chimera M13 just to see what might happen. While this debut thriller is fiction, I suspect that similar research is being conducted by someone somewhere. Inquiring minds and all that.
This is a strong, fast-paced, action-filled novel that vividly dramatizes the perils and ethical issues of bioengineering viruses. The scenes in the Level 4 unit left me literally breathless."