The Double Human
Tor, Jun 2010, $24.99
Due to overseas intervention, anthrax deployment in malls, oil dictatorships and domestic political discord at home, the once United States is disintegrating. In this increasingly lawless society in which the central government is non-existent and New York City is a wasteland, terrorist anthrax attacks supplemented by radical climate changes have turned Miami into a deadly anarchistic "Quarantine Zone".
Florida United Police Force detective Tom Wilner enters this dead zone in search of the serial killing "the Vampire", who is Undead. There he meets benevolent teacher Mari Saltis of Columbia who refuses to leave the Quarantined Zone as she feels the children need her. As their attraction flourishes within this dark area, the insane predator he chases after wants both of them dead.
This is an entertaining futuristic science fiction-horror police procedural that requires leaving the plausibility at home. The story line is filled with action-packed subplots although some are left dangling (like that of the alien arrival) for a sequel. James O’Neal provides some of the back story as to what happened to Southern Florida and elsewhere as civilizations collapsed; thus this dystopian thriller can stand alone but is enhanced by first reading its predecessor The Human Disguise.