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Viral (Mallory Brothers #1)

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  684 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
"Viral is a world-class thriller." -Vince Flynn

Two brothers race to stop a political mastermind's massive bioterrorist plot in this terrifying espionage thriller.
In remote pockets of the Third World, a deadly virus is quietly sweeping through impoverished farming villages and shanty towns with frightening speed and potency. Meanwhile, in Washington, a three-word message le
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Soho Crime (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 12, 2012 Kimbra rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. The premise was exciting. I expected the story to bring me face to face with disturbing questions of morality and human nature where modern science collides with geopolitical instability in the developing world. I thought I would be staying up all night to read this book.

Instead, I was bogged down in the litany of characters who appeared on what seemed like every other page to reveal - or not reveal- one of the many cryptic bread crumbs left by Charlie (AKA Ale
Mary Agloro
Sep 15, 2012 Mary Agloro rated it it was amazing
When I finished my first thought was "Wow!" It is a thriller and kept my interest from beginning to end. It took me longer to read it that it would have only because I got company twice while reading it and I had to take some time off from my reading each time for about a week each...but I didn't want to! This story is sad, suspenseful, thought provoking, frightening, horrifying and completely absorbing! I really liked the main characters...two brothers, one a journalist and one a rogue ex-CIA a ...more
Apr 29, 2012 Hellen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller, spy
Charles and Jon are very different at the beginning of the book. Charles is a former CIA operative and is used to living looking over his shoulder. Jon is an average journalist who leads a normal and quiet life until his brother sends him information and the task to write an article about what he (Charles) is working on.

Throughout the book we see how Jon changes from a person with a normal life to somebody who impresses Charles and his team.

This is a great thriller, one of the best I’ve read rec
Mar 18, 2012 Mysterytribune rated it really liked it
Viral is probably one of the most refreshing thrillers we reviewed this year. Planning to be released by Soho Press on April 10, this is a story that takes you from Washington D.C. to the heart of Africa, Switzerland and Streets of Berlin.

A Brief Summary:

In remote areas of a not very known African country, a deadly virus kills more than two hundred thousand civilians in less than a week. Impoverished farming villages and several towns end up with piles of dead bodies and no one knows why except
Jean-Paul Adriaansen
Jan 29, 2012 Jean-Paul Adriaansen rated it it was amazing
Absolutely captivating mystery. Charles Mallory, private contractor and a former CIA operative, is investigating a spread of a deadly flu virus that is killing thousands in remote parts of Africe. He discovers terrifying scheme to create a "new perfect technological world" by first eliminating teh whole empoverished, sick, and less usefull population.
But who's behind all of this? Bio terrorists? Misguided humanitarian projects? Greedy bussiness? Whoever it is, it is a very dangerous, deadly, an
Nelson Meaker
Dec 25, 2014 Nelson Meaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very Good Read on Several levels

Complex story involving bioterrorism in Africa, intelligence agencies in U.S., a father whose knowing that watching carefully over those who have access to these horrors got him killed.
And a story of two sons after years apart working together to prevent a monstrous plot threatening millions. Behind all that is the story of wealth and the need for power. Many unexpected twists. Makes one think about the plight of third world Africa, and what could be done if we
Jul 18, 2012 Doc rated it it was amazing
Very good read, with lots of intrigue, twists and puzzles. The author takes current issues (i.e. recent controversies over how Western foundations operate in the Third World) and threads them into a well-paced narrative. I liked the relationship between the brothers although would have liked to seen more of them together, especially at the end. Some of the scenes in the book are pretty arresting. It may not be for everyone, as a few of the reviews here indicate, but I found it hard to put down.
Fast paced. Action packed. A thriller with adventure and shock throughout the novel. Each chapter if not each page brought the book to a new height of excitement. From the moment I started this book to the very last word I was hooked! I honestly wish it didn't end. That being said, I can't wait to grab the next book of the series!
Now, let me justify my hype on this novel. I just happened to glance at this in the bookstore and said "eh, why not?" The book starts right off the bat with a bang, or
Jun 15, 2012 Patricia rated it really liked it
Two brothers separated by years and miles work together to stop an evil plan to spread a deadly virus that will change the world. Charles Mallory is a private intelligence contractor and former CIA operative. His brother Jon, an investigative reporter, is alarmed when a call from his brother Charles is not received as scheduled. Charles is counting on Jon to be a witness to some event that he has yet to reveal to Jon.

Charles is investigating a lead found in a message left by his father in a saf
Andrew Macrae
May 16, 2012 Andrew Macrae rated it liked it
"Viral" by James Lilliefors

Just suppose...two simple words spoken late at night between friends over drinks in a forgotten bar a decade ago. Two words that serve to introduce an idea so audacious, so outlandish, so terrible that it should have died on the spot. But it didn't. The idea festered and grew and now a malignant horror is poised to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world and it is up to two brothers to stop it.

Jon Mallory is a respected investigative reporter with a Washington-based ma
H.E. Fairbanks
Jun 09, 2013 H.E. Fairbanks rated it it was ok

I gave this book two stars because the author obviously writes well. That's the good part. I gave it only two stars because anyone who writes a book about viruses—especially with this title—should know about viruses, or at least do the research on viral properties, incubation, propagation, symptoms, methods of lethality and sterilization (e.g. fire/explosives kills viruses). In addition, having a multitude of characters each with two and three names forces the reader to stop and write them down

Jun 01, 2012 Adrienne rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This book looked promising but the characters were very bland; I could give a hoot about any of them. The subject matter could have been interesting and engaging but this ended up being a very boring book. I barely finished it.
Jul 13, 2012 Dale rated it it was amazing
A book with a disturbing premise that kept me guessing.
Dec 07, 2016 Braden rated it it was ok
It was boring; there was close to minimal transitions and the majority of them were rather abrupt. Personally, I feel that the author was wasting pages instead of getting to the point quicker insteadb of using four pages to describe a character.
Dec 18, 2016 Wendy rated it liked it
Tough to follow all the characters. Closer to a 2.5 because of that. The story was good though.
Kah Cherub
Feb 01, 2012 Kah Cherub rated it really liked it
review posted here:

Charles Mallory is a private intelligence contractor, and he's been working on a project, a puzzle, left to him by his father after his death. He's in Africa, to meet with a man who just might give him the information he needs to figure things out (the details of a "high-stakes war")... but Paul Bahdru, an african journalist whose wife was raped and murdered because of his 'treasonous' published work, never makes it to their secret meet
Sam Sattler
Mar 28, 2012 Sam Sattler rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Today’s generic thriller is best known for its nonstop action, a characteristic of the genre that is often emphasized by the book’s extremely short chapters and cardboard characters. Thrillers are not usually literary in nature but, because readers of the genre do not expect literary masterpieces, they do not have to be. When a thriller writer does get a little more ambitious by offering fully-fleshed characters, a subplot or two, and a well researched main plot, thriller readers have hit the ja ...more
10/09 - My mum and I are reading this concurrently (she got first crack at it while I finished another book) and she got me all excited about how good it is, and then I started reading it. Not as great as mum had me expecting. From the backcover blurb I thought the book was going to be more focussed on the virus side of things rather than the, so far, slightly slow 'two brothers sneaking around the globe looking for each other but keep missing each other in their individual searches' side of the ...more
Cathy Cole
Dec 14, 2011 Cathy Cole rated it liked it
First Line: Cloud shadows carpeted the African countryside as a privately owned matatu rattled along the dusty lorrie route toward the capital.

In remote, impoverished areas of Africa, a deadly virus is moving through farming villages and shanty towns like a well-honed scythe leaving no survivors. The vaguest of rumors about this swirl through the rest of the world. Only a former CIA operative, Charles Mallory , with the help of his brother, investigative reporter Jon, seem able to put the clues
Ray Palen
Apr 30, 2012 Ray Palen rated it liked it
The post 9/11 world has people on edge as to where the next terrorist threat will come from. What if, rather than a bomb or a plane falling from the sky the threat was biological? This is the terror that author James Lilliefors has created with his novel VIRAL.

A deadly virus that has been killing African farmers and villagers may just be a test run for a far more serious threat that could be the next global apocalypse. The only problem is that two brothers --- Jon and Charles Mallory --- are the
Lelia Taylor
Apr 02, 2012 Lelia Taylor rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
What is Covenant?

Three small, obscure African countries are the focus of a plan to solve the Third World “problem”, a plan that involves biological weapons and the rampant corruption and poverty that plague such countries. A kernel of a well-intentioned idea has evolved into a megalomaniacal assumption that the end does, indeed, justify the means and overwhelming amounts of money have made it possible to accomplish a terrible purpose.

As in any good thriller, uncertainty is paramount and the read
Feb 16, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
I should start by saying that Lilliefors' background as a good journalist is clear from page one. Whether it be politics, history, geography, technology, or biology, where there are facts he has used them. His precision and acute attention to detail lend a veracity and viability to his fiction. At no point did I ever stop reading or pull away from the story and think, "like that could ever happen!" There was a chilling plausibility to everything he wrote.

Lilliefors style was also very journalis
Jun 18, 2012 Guillaume rated it it was amazing
interesting book. The title and description make it out to be one thing but it turns out to be something a little different, and the 'viral' in the title isn't just about a (literal) virus. The book starts as a story about two brothers who are supposedly opposites, one on the inside of the intelligence world the other's on the outside,as a reporter. What pulls them back together is an intricate story about Africa - which to me illuminates the current world situation, particularly the debate over ...more
Eliabeth Hawthorne
Apr 02, 2012 Eliabeth Hawthorne rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
It’s terrifying what people will do for money. Even though the villains would have you believe it’s for the greater good, it’s really for money. They talk about how much it would cost to buy a news story, to buy a country. “How many people would notice or care if hundreds of thousands of Africans went to sleep one night and didn’t wake up?”

At least one of the middle men tries to excuse himself from responsibility by saying, “they’re going to do it with or without me, I may as well make some mone
Overall, a great concept and great story. I am only giving it 3 stars though because the beginning is very draggy and dry, I kept going only because I had heard so many good things about it. Lilliefors is slow with the introduction of main characters as well as with getting to the point of what is really going on. Once the story gets going, it is hard to put down. I also gave the three stars because there was some really unnecessarily graphic imagery that didnt actually serve to further the stor ...more
Dec 30, 2012 Kathy rated it liked it
I didn't think I would enjoy this since it was a thriller type book. However the author was able to keep me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire story.
The idea was to drop a virus on small villages in Africa thus annihilating the area to 'start over' without poverty and AIDS. A pretty sick idea! The scary part was knowing that this is actually possible to do.
Two brothers work together to stop this, however there are all kinds of smaller stories woven into the espionage along with charac
Jul 10, 2016 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: just-for-fun
Books that present storylines that are conceivable are always the most believable, as was this contemporary conspiracy tale. A "cabal" of highly-placed government and business world leaders devise a plan to rid advanced western societies of those global populations who are deemed to be holding the rest of the world hostage to poverty and ignorance. Using advanced technology as a tool they develop a plan to rid the west of the pestilence that is called Africa and to refine the demographics of the ...more
Aug 22, 2012 Burne rated it it was amazing
The thing is, this could really happen. Do we really know what’s going on behind the scenes (so to speak) in the “third world”? Or how it might affect the rest of us in 30 or 60 years? The author stuffs a lot of ideas into this book and doesn’t seem to care if traditional “thriller” readers might be left dangling at times. Viral is a smart book with lots of characters that I recognized from current (and almost current) events. It’s a little uneven in places and occasionally the violence felt a l ...more
Jul 19, 2012 Martha rated it really liked it
Lots of deception, suspense and intrigue. Government, private enterprise, charitable foundations, hedge funds, terrorists are all working together and separately in this fast paced novel. The idea is to form............"A model nation. One hundred percent energy self-sufficient. A nation with no poverty, virtually no crime. A laboratory for new technologies. For medical research. That's what they believed was possible. That's what we believed was possible. That was the objective we discussed. An ...more
Jun 22, 2013 Marti rated it really liked it
This is a little reminiscent of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton with the medical aspect. Three unnamed Pensylvania townships are referenced as are three African countries--didn't check to see if they are real, or fictitious. Two brothers are trying to keep the bad guys from killing more multitudes of people with a virus. The number already killed is mentioned as 100,000! There is a native doctor who is working on the problem. One of the brothers is a journalist who gets the unenviable job of wor ...more
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JAMES LILLIEFORS is a journalist and novelist who grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. His novels include THE PSALMIST (2014) and THE TEMPEST (2015) and the geopolitical thrillers THE LEVIATHAN EFFECT and VIRAL. He has written for various publications including The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Miami Herald and The Boston Globe. He started his journalism career as a writer and editor wi ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Mallory Brothers (2 books)
  • The Leviathan Effect

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