I loved this novel, think X-Files crossed with The Blood of the Lamb by Thomas Monteleone (a far superior religious conspiracy novel than Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code), crossed with Medicine Man and you’ve got PANACEA.

Medical Examiner Laura Hanning has two bodies with similar tattoos but different histories.  One body is burned beyond recogniti26114163on and the other pristine. During the course of her investigation, she also comes across the body of a child who she knew from hospital visits for her daughter who was misdiagnosed with leukemia and now has a compromised immune system .  What binds them together is that, while each victim is a completely healthy ‘specimen,’ two of them  seemed to have recovered completely from different debilitating and deadly diseases.

As she is attempting to put together the pieces, Laura is approached by billionaire Clayton Stahlman, dying of pulmonary fibrosis, to help him find a mythical cure called the Panacea, a plant said to be able to cure all illness.  He offers her $10 million to find it. Hanning is reluctantly teamed up with Rick Hayden, an ex-Navy Seal and mercenary  (who has an odd fixation with zip ties), to find the cure.  She doesn’t believe but agrees to take the job for the freedom the money will give her to spend more time with her daughter.

Hanning and Hayden start the search in a Mayan community in South America.  Unbeknownst to them, they’re being tracked by a fanatic religious cult called the 536 who will stop at nothing to find the Panacea and destroy it and everyone associated with it.   Their search takes them from the Mayan jungles to the shores of the Shetland Islands and many cities in between.  Each new city uncovers a clue to finding the Panacea and asking the question, if you had the cure for all illnesses, who would you give it to.

Paul Wilson, famous for his Repairman Jack series, brings us a new  set of characters, ones that I hope will return.

Panacea is available now at all book retailers

About Angela Bennett