“Eloquent, gripping, harrowing.”—Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone When a mysterious virus first exploded in Zaire in 1976, American physician William T. Close worked desperately to contain the outbreak. Haunted by this wrenching crisis, Dr. Close felt compelled to honor the memory of the courageous people he knew and lost. This is their story: a terrifying, completely authentic novel that begins with an invisible killer.
It strikes without warning—a lethal disease with no name . . . and no cure.
At a Catholic mission in Yambuku, a remote village sixty miles south of the Ebola River, local teacher Mabalo Lokela visits the clinic with a raging fever. Sister Lucie, a Flemish nun and nurse, gives him a shot of an antimalarial drug, wipes off the syringe, and awaits her next patient. Within days, Mabalo is dead. Soon, others are falling ill. Less than three weeks later, the virus claims Sister Lucie’s life as well. Panic erupts, but as the villagers attempt to flee, all roads leading out of Yambuku are closed off, the dying forced back. And as the single radio connecting the mission to the outside world brings only bad news, the valiant nuns and medical personnel left behind have no choice but to pray, and wonder: Will they survive long enough for help to arrive?