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Extended Audio Sample Spiral, by Paul McEuen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (505 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul McEuen Narrator: Rob Shapiro Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this riveting debut thriller—a finalist for Best First Novel at the 2012 Thriller Awards and a nominee for a Nero Award—the race is on to stop the devastating proliferation of the ultimate bioweapon.

When Nobel laureate Liam Connor is found dead at the bottom of one of Ithaca, New York’s famous gorges, his research collaborator, Cornell professor of nanoscience Jake Sterling, refuses to believe it was suicide. Why would one of the world’s most eminent biologists, a eighty-six-year old man in good health who survived some of the darkest days of the Second World War, have chosen to throw himself off a bridge? And who was the mysterious woman caught on camera at the scene? Soon it becomes clear that a cache of supersophisticated nanorobots—each the size of a spider—has disappeared from the dead man’s laboratory.

Stunned by grief, Jake, Liam’s granddaughter, Maggie, and Maggie’s nine-year-old son, Dylan, try to put the pieces together. They uncover ingeniously coded messages Liam left behind pointing toward a devastating secret he gleaned off the shores of war-ravaged Japan and carried for more than sixty years.

What begins as a quest for answers soon leads to a horrifying series of revelations at the crossroads of biological warfare and nanoscience. At this dangerous intersection, a skilled and sadistic assassin, an infamous Japanese war criminal, and a ruthless US government official are all players in a harrowing game of power, treachery, and intrigue—a game whose winner will hold the world’s fate literally in the palm of his hand.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Spiral by Paul McEuen carries the reader on a fascinating ride through a world of bioweaponry, nanoscience, murder, and international intrigue…One of the best debut thrillers I’ve read in a long time.”

    Douglas Preston, author of Impact and The Monster of Florence

  • Spiral is an all-too-frighteningly-real tale. This is an exciting debut.”

    Steve Berry, author of The Emperor’s Tomb

  • “A riveting story that combines international intrigue with fascinating inventions…In more ways than one, Spiral will get under your skin.”

    Mark Alpert, author of Final Theory

  • “Fast-paced and suspenseful…McEuen, a leader in nanoscience research at Cornell, makes unsettling use of recent developments in the field…exciting and unsettling.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “It’s hard to reckon with the realization that a prominent scientist in a cutting-edge field, writing his first novel in his ‘spare time,’ has created what may be the most gripping and engrossing thriller this reviewer has ever read in almost fifty years of thriller reading…[Paul McEuen] wisely writes about what he knows…but also shows a true gift for plotting, pace, characterization, and writerly clarity…and remarkably, he makes [his] ideas accessible to typical thriller aficionados. A stunning achievement.”Booklist (starred review)

  • A 2012 Nero Award Nominee
  • Winner of the 2012 International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Peter | 2/13/2014

    " Fine first novel; plot well-crafted (I didn't see the obvious connection between two characters until the author wanted me to); characters are interesting and real. My only quibble is occasional shifting of perspective in the midst of a chapter. Learned a lot about fungi, too. Hope McEuen keeps writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jen Walker | 2/10/2014

    " It was an ok read. I really wanted more techno thriller than mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kim | 2/9/2014

    " Action packed story about bioweaponized fungus and the 'little people' caught in the crossfire. I didn't want to put it down! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Zora | 2/2/2014

    " 3.5 stars. A competent science fictional thriller about bioterrorism and nanotechnology. I don't think the author should have ever left the central cast of four connected characters, and every time he did so, the book bogged down, dragging my rating down a half star. There is a lot of technical information in here, so if you don't like learning when you read your thrillers, you probably won't like this. "

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