The Consciousness Plague by Paul Levinson
The Consciousness PlagueA New York City forensic pathologist is a busy person. Phil D’Amato is no exception. He is called in when a woman is found murdered and naked. The policewoman who first found the body called it in. Two days later she could not remember any of what happened that day. More women are found dead. Soon Phil is deeply involved in the case.
But Officer Gonzales is not the only person with memory loss. Phil asks his live in companion, Jenna, to marry him. She gladly agrees. The next day she doesn’t remember the conversation. He soon discovers holes in his memories as well. What did all these and more people with the same symptoms have in common? They had all taken the new antibiotic, Omnin, for the flu. But the symptoms are vague. Memory returns of one event (Jenna later remembers the proposal) and another is lost. Phil is certain that the murders and the memory loss is tied together. His investigation leads him to Scotland, California, and Chicago (that trip by train) as he delves into the memory issues and the serial murders.
It is times like this that I am upset about the way books are classified and pigeonholed. This book is placed squarely in the science fiction genre at the library and other places. Yet it is an enthralling murder mystery thriller. Phil D’Amato is trying to find a killer while fighting memory loss. The antibiotic threat is an issue that could come out of a headline tomorrow. This is true science fiction, something that could happen in our projected future, making it doubly eerie.
This is a very good book. I had some trouble with the route taken to discover the killer, but it is possible I missed some clues. I was too enthralled in the memory loss issue that the murder mystery became a side issue to me, yet it is integral to the book. This is the second novel about Phil D’Amato, and he was featured in numerous short stories. I want to find the first novel and learn more. This book shouldn’t be missed.