Tapping into the panic over the SARS outbreak, Bone Dust is a timely tale that paints an all-too-believable scenario. In a smooth writing style that flows evenly and easily, Maier’s first book is a fascinating story sure to catch a reader’s attention.Set in Macon, Georgia, the main character, Mike Spiker, is a busy executive at Bio Lab Research. A deadly outbreak of the flu in the Philippines doesn’t concern him or his colleagues. After all, this sleepy little town in the deep South has always been far from the front lines of any big trouble. But the outbreak becomes a modern-day disaster, an influenza pandemic that affects the lives of everyone. How they deal with it, who succumbs and a myriad of subplots involving infidelity, fraud, race relations and more keep the story moving with palpable excitement.Maier has blended his fascination with life in the South with his in-depth study of the 1918 flu epidemic. He weaves a tale full of intrigue, little-known facts and realistic fiction. In our terror-filled, post 9-11 existence, Maier presents a fascinating story sure to force you to spend a sleepless night or two. As Macon Telegraph columnist Ed Grisamore wrote: ‘Turning each page is like putting your hand on an electric fence.’
The Tunels Below St. Edana
A series of bizarre terror attacks shake up a quiet little college in the Deep South. Numbers guy Jake Dawson steps up to stop the perpetrators while his colleagues resist help from the police as they go about their daily routines. Jake finds support from unlikely sources, including a lovely and talented coworker who joins his side to restore order.
Social tremors shock Macon when a developer tries to tear down a row of old houses to expand the sprawling medical complex.
I could not put this book down--stayed up half the night to finish it. An especially timely story that shows what could happen to real people when an epidemic strikes. Bone Dust is a wake up call that we are far too quick to think that mass deaths from contagious disease only happen in countries other than the US. With SARS, Ebola,the Asian Bird Flu and the reality of biological weapons, this story is both compelling and factual. Maier did his research well. A good read!
"Bone Dust," Rick Maier's short first novel is a page-turner written in a breezy style.
The secret to "Bone Dust is Maier's skill in incrementally weaving the local history and culture of Macon, Georgia (his adopted home town) to an outbreak of influenza in the Philippines. As a subtext, this particular strain of influenza could have been perpetrated by Al Qaeda or by an independent cell of terrorists. Or perhaps, this strain of influenza emerged because people in the Philippines keep and live in close proximity to chickens and on occasion, avian strains of flu emerge and cross to humans.
Whatever the cause, the lives of the citizens of Macon and the key characters in "Bone Dust" are disrupted and they must now deal with the consequences.
"Bone Dust" sustains interest throughout. The lives of the principal characters are enriched with local color and detail. Only an overly sentimental ending that Maier thoughtfully keeps brief detracts from this otherwise compelling narrative.
Rick Maier has written one of those "can't put it down" summer reading books. BONE DUST is as intriguing and as fast paced as THE DA VINCI CODE.
He ingeniously and coincidentally weaves a SARS-like pandemic into his story about contemporary Macon, Ga.
If you are from the South you will appreciate the boldness in which Maier describes through his characters and situations how Southerners deal with "race" concerns, especially at the corporate level.
If you are a runner, as I am, you will identify with the main character and how "running" is a sustaining factor in his life.
Pertinent human issues show up in Maier's book of short chapters with nifty titles. The details of death, the facade of being religious, and a father's relationship with his daughters are three images that remain with me.
Even though BONE DUST is a drama, with a touching ending(be ready for it), Maier's main character is a jokster kind of guy- so the book is not without humor! You'll love it!
Bone Dust was one of those books that I couldn't put down. My heart raced constantly and the chills never left my body. As a nurse in an infectious disease clinic, this book really opened my eyes and made me ponder just how susceptible we are as a people to this caliber of a disaster. And, with the recent SARS epidemic in the news, the possibility of such is even more real. Maier did a remarkable job researching his medical facts and really brought to life the charm of Southern culture. I loved this book and highly recommend it.
Have read Bone Dust and Exit South, both of Maier's books plus had a chance to read a draft of his next book. Enjoyed them all, timely subjects, fast paced, reads like Grisham and Patterson. Read the new one on airplanes, hotels, and at home after a long day. You can pick it up, read, stop for awhile then pick it up again. Sometimes you start and don't want to stop - what's happening next. Good read.
Bone Dust grabs you early on and will not let you go until the last page is turned. It forces you to see the fine line between improbability and reality. Very well written. I'm looking forward to his next book.