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Dr. Preston McBride, a gifted vaccine researcher, as he searches to find a cure for a virulent strain of the flu virus. Similar to H1N1, it threatens the human race.
After Dr. McBride’s vaccine project is stolen from him, he is disillusioned and resigns himself to a dull life of work at a family clinic in his home town. But then a mysterious disease begins killing dogs, and it escalates with frightening speed. People suffer devastating emotional losses when their pets die, and McBride decides to return to the battlefield of his research. In what fast becomes a blood bath of dying dogs all over the country, and then the world, he feverishly searches for connections in his makeshift lab.
Society is increasingly on edge at the prospect of the extinction of all dogs, and bizarre behavior is becoming the norm in the streets. Grief will become yet another plague as the book travels to Brazil, Germany, Asia and New Orleans. McBride’s search leads him to unexpected confrontations at the crossroads of corporate greed and political corruption. This story is also a mirror on the times we live in.
The novel portrays a potential apocalypse, conceived of by Dr. Lippoff when he imagined what the world would be like without his own dogs, Alice and Alvin. “We hope to give an understanding of what the loss of dogs might mean, and a deeper appreciation of what our loving dogs contribute to our society,” says Dr. Lippoff. “Otherwise we might not know what we have until it’s too late!”
Unconditional Loss, a novel co-authored by doctors Orrin Lippoff & Mladen Solar, grip the reader and pull them into a fast moving, expertly written story like the harness of a dog team of Huskies pulling a sled across the Alaskan frontier. In fact, that’s exactly how the novel begins.
As a pandemic spreads throughout the world grotesquely killing dogs by hemorrhaging the tissue in their lungs, causing a bloody, painful death unabated by any known treatment, researcher Dr. Preston McBride is committed to seek a vaccination for this horrific virus. Being personally effected by the loss of his mother’s dog; seeing firsthand the emotional grieving and suffering dog owners have when their pets die, McBride becomes convinced he needs to seek a cure. As a researcher who put his career on the shelf when his work was stolen by a colleague, McBride is forced to once again team up with Dr. Willis, the very person whose conflict has altered McBride’s destiny. Willis is now a rich and powerful vice president of a drug company. In order to use Willis’ state-of-the-art laboratory facility, McBride becomes once again subordinated to the “Alpha attitude” of Willis’ control, scrutiny and taking credit for McBride’s work.
Orrin Lippoff & Mladen Solar engulfs the reader into an unforgettable story of the possible extinction of the entire canine population. They articulate, all too well at times, the surrealistic sorrow of pet owners having to deal with the grief of losing their dog; sometimes even to the point of committing suicide as their only option to deal with their loss. You don’t have to be a dog lover to appreciate these sentiments; however to those of us which are, this book is a harsh and raw emotional drain when empathizing with the plight of the characters. It’s like Marley & Me thousands of times over. It brought to mind the loss I suffered when my dog died, which is no doubt one of its intended objectives. 46 million families in America own at least one dog, as the dog population is estimated to be 78 million. In the book, this population drops to less than 5 million living dogs – and continues its decline until a vaccination is found.
Unconditional Loss is an original and expertly written book, educating while entertaining. Written for the suspense, thriller, disaster novel lover, this book appeals to a wide variety of age brackets from young adult to those many “dog years” older. The 474 pages read rather quickly, however the only criticism is it could be boiled down a bit; certain side stories added little at times to the plot. Be that as it may, the book created a mental storyboard that played in my mind like a blockbuster disaster movie. It would be an excellent book for screenplay adaptation, as Hollywood would surely swoop up its share of the $40 billion annual pet industry. As a token of gratitude to all those who buy this book, a sizeable portion of the authors’ profit is being donated to the ASPCA. Oh, and for all of you cat lovers, don’t worry, the virus only killed dogs ~ but you never know what a sequel might bring!