Alex Pella, an acclaimed neuroscientist and the hero of the new medical thriller, THE NEW REALITY, finds himself racing across the globe to find a cure for a rapidly spreading illness threatening to end all of humanity. To combat this worldwide pandemic, Pella and his colleagues must use modern science in an attempt to decipher a code hidden by God within the original pages of the Bible.
THE NEW REALITY is the first book in a projected trilogy starring Alex Pella, created by New Jersey-based neurologist Stephen Martino. With his mixture of medicine, politics, biblical riddles, and futuristic science, Martino joins such masters of the medical thriller genre as Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, and Robin Cook.
Martino’s villain is a deadly retrovirus accidentally unleashed on the world in the year 2080, a time when no country is financially equipped to deal with such a disaster. It’s up to Pella and NIH expert Marissa Ambrosia to lead the search for a cure while fending off an elite foreign military unit sent to stop them. The scientists, guided by an ancient code concealed within the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, traverse ancient lands in an attempt to solve a biblical riddle and save humanity from total extinction.
Martino says he wrote THE NEW REALITY “more than just to entertain the reader. I really wanted to create a novel with substance, like (Brown’s) THE DA VINCI CODE or (Crichton’s) JURASSIC PARK. These books not only tell a fantastic story, but they also make the reader think.”
In THE NEW REALITY, Martino has included such hot-button contemporary topics as genetic manipulation, gene therapy, unprecedented economic debt, and the rise of big government, combining them with more esoteric subjects such as the Bible Code and the mysteries hidden in the Book of Revelation.
The Bible Code, Martino explains, does exist and was discovered by Dr. Eli Rips, a mathematician in quantum physics. The code has been confirmed by mathematicians at Yale, Harvard, and Hebrew University, as well as by peer-reviewed mathematical journals and the Pentagon. The code, Martino continues, is found in the original Hebrew version of the first five books of the Old Testament, called the Torah, and only in its untranslated, Hebrew form.
All of these elements, Martino maintains, separate his book from the pack. He calls THE NEW REALITY “issue-oriented fiction. There are real concerns facing society today that threaten both the sovereignty and prosperity of our future generations. Though fictional, my novel addresses some of these issues and predicts the potential consequences we face as a nation if they are not properly addressed today.”
“Off to work again?” Suzan asked, both half-kidding and annoyed.
Her husband seemed oblivious to the question. Because he labored three weeks of double shifts and returned home from work only four hours prior, she thought he was going to at least have the rest of the this day off. Clearly that was not the case. With so many of his coworkers getting sick, it left only a handful of dedicated employees to man the local factory.
“They’re working you straight into the grave,” Suzan added. “They only care about money and not their employees. I don’t know why you let them do this to you. Look at you.” She pointed the dishtowel towards him. “You are an old man and your body can’t do this anymore.”
She was right. Berk was going to be 65 next month and his youthful vitality had been quickly dwindling over the past few years. As arthritis in his back and neck set in, he could do less physical activity, causing him to gain weight. No longer a strapping young man, he had acquired a large gut and two extra chins in the process. Berk’s jet-black hair had also grayed precipitously since putting in all these extra hours at work.
“You worry too much,” he cajoled with a cherub-like grin.
In fact, Berk had been the one doing most of the worrying. He was concerned not only for himself but also for his friends and family in this small town of Yakakoy. Located in western Turkey just off the Aegean Sea, the town’s sole means of sustenance was its local factory. With fewer healthy employees remaining, it left only a handful of people to keep the business alive.
“If I didn’t do the worrying, who would?” Suzan scoffed, while washing the pots in the sink.
Suzan was a sturdy woman, full of life. Accustomed to the hard work of living on a farm as a child, she had grown strong both physically and mentally. Though fifty years of age, she still retained her youthful glow and joked about marrying such an old man. She always responded that he was young when she married him, and now look what happened.
Berk tried to leave without his wife noticing, but she held out her cheek, expecting a kiss before his departure.
“I have to be at the factory,” he curtly responded, while attempting to open the door.
“Oh, no honey. You’re not leaving until you give your wife her proper goodbye.”
Suzan grabbed Berk’s wrist. To her surprise it felt warm and clammy, almost as if she were holding a wet snake. She then realized how red her husband’s face appeared. It was as if he fell asleep in a tanning bed and forgot to wake up for a day.
Berk looked down, not knowing what to say to his wife. They both had witnessed at least half their town come down with the same condition. Whenever someone developed these symptoms, they were immediately whisked away, never to be seen again. Over the past six months Yakakoy had slowly dwindled down to a fraction of its original population. Berk hoped that if he continued working no one would notice his declining health. Failure was not an option for him, and the last thing he ever wanted was to be forced to leave his dear wife and town.
“They’re not going to take you away, honey!” Suzan blurted with authority. “They will have to get through me first. Now you go upstairs and get some rest. You probably just have a fever from working too hard. I’ll tell the factory that you sprained your ankle and will be there in the morning.”
Berk knew excuses would not suffice. If anyone missed work or was late, the town police would immediately come to the house. With so many people in Yakakoy becoming mysteriously sick, the Turkish government had become adamant about removing anyone from the town with signs of The Disease.
The Disease is what the people called it. Since its appearance almost a year ago, it first spread quickly through Greece and Turkey, afflicting more of its population than either government cared to divulge. Scientists could give it no other name. No pathological organism for this new scourge could be found. Neither bacteria, virus, protozoa nor other infectious agent was ever discovered. Even rare pathogens such as prions, similar to those causing mad cow disease, were investigated but without any success.
Now as new victims began cropping up all over the world, humanity lay helpless at the mercy of The Disease. Without knowing the cause of this scourge or having any idea about the mode of its dissemination, humanity stood at the precipice of mass extinction. To prevent global chaos, there remained a total media blackout on the situation. All the general population of the world knew was that The Disease had been mostly confined to Turkey and Greece. Those that understood the truth were forced to secrecy.
About the Author
Stephen Martino holds an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a neurologist in New Jersey. When he is not working, he can be found with his five children doing homework or cheering them on at a soccer field, basketball court, or dance recital. Martino is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Cub Scout den leader and is an active public speaker, helping to educate the local community and healthcare professionals on the signs, symptoms and treatment of stroke. THE NEW REALITY is his first novel.
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