Fans of Bones and Coroner will love Dr. Zol Szabo, a doctor who is out to solve medical mysteries before it’s too late
After weeks of torture at the hands of Syria’s secret police, the bombing of his villa in the ancient city of Aleppo, and the murder of his daughter, trauma surgeon Dr. Hosam Khousa flees his fractured homeland with his wife and son. They make their way to Canada as refugees, where Hosam is forced to trade his prestigious scalpel for a barber’s humble clippers. Though he aches to regain his once-prominent surgical career, cutting hair in Hamilton, Ontario, seems a safe way to make a living, until a fellow Syrian is slashed to death in the barbershop. The ensuing gangland vendetta entangles Hosam and threatens his family.
At the same time, epidemic investigators Dr. Zol Szabo and Natasha Sharma are battling an outbreak of vaccine-resistant polio that has struck the city with terrifying fury. When Hosam visits a friend clinging to life in the intensive care unit, he spots something that might help the investigation but will ruin his chance of retaking his place in the operating theater. The Great White North is not the sanctuary he expected, but it’s a bitter paradise he must learn to navigate.
Pennie's fascinating fifth Dr. Zol Szabo medical mystery (after 2017's Beneath the Wake) finds Canadian medical investigator Szabo, an infectious disease specialist, and his coworker and fianc e, Natasha Sharma, facing what could be "the biggest public-health circus... since that mad-cow debacle." The sudden appearance of a virus with polio-like symptoms has the citizens of Hamilton, Ont., terrified. The epidemic's first three cases came from an elementary school: two pupils recovered, but a teacher's aide died. With the death toll rising, Szabo sets out to discover the identity and origin of the virus as well as why it emerged in Hamilton. A subplot concerns the murder of Marwan, a Syrian barber, who was knifed to death in front of Szabo's 14-year-old son. This murder seems tame in contrast to the dramatic and surprising twists and turns of Szabo's search for answers regarding the viral infection. Retired surgeon and pediatrician Pennie, himself an expert on infectious diseases, injects the narrative with authenticity and a sense of urgency. Michael Crichton fans will be pleased.