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Finding a dead mouse in the lab is not usually such a big deal. But when the lab is a Biosafety Level-3 containment facility designed to keep things in and out, and when the mouse has a brain tumor that shines green under blue light, it’s time to start worrying. When the graduate students start glowing, then it’s time to panic. Especially when they could be spreading a mutant virus in ways no one really understands.
Not Easy Being Green is the second in Susy Gage's “lab-lit” series featuring intrepid physicist Lori Barrow, who by historical accident finds herself in charge of her university's biocontainment facility. When she suspects that a virus that makes cells fluoresce is escaping from the lab, her first thought is to blame the motley crew of bumbling theorists trying to learn biology. But investigation reveals something even more sinister: an unscrupulous researcher with an illegal clinic preying on everyone from the vain to the desperate.
The second novel featuring physics professor Lori Barrow (after A Slow Cold Death) returns to the campus of Superior Technological Institute, where superstar biologist Oriol Ortiz is engaged in dubious experiments related to the supposed miracle cures performed at his clinic in Mexico. After Barrow discovers a dead mouse with a fluorescent green brain tumor, she fears that Ortiz's experiments have gotten out of control. Pseudony mous author Gage is a physics professor, and her experience shows in her darkly comic and slapstick portrayal of grubby labs, heated competition for grant money, and unhinged postdoctoral students. However, she undercuts herself with flat prose, labored wordplay (celebrity agent Morris Dietrich is known as "Moe Deet," a pun on the French maudit), and characters who all sound the same.