Panacea is the first in the new ICE Sequence series by F. Paul Wilson. It is also part of his Secret History of the World series.
I picked up Panacea because I love the author’s Repairman Jack series. I was really sad when the series ended, however knowing that there are other books in the Secret History to read, gave me some relief.
I am now slowly going through the various books, putting pieces of the puzzle together and learning how it all fits. It is a fascinating world.
Panacea introduces us to a world where miracles indeed exist. And lets us meet Laura Hanning, a medical examiner who has seen these miracles first hand, yet still can’t believe her own eyes.
Two bodies – full-health bodies – are in the morgue ready to be examined. People who died should not be this healthy as they were. And both – the adult, and the child – used to suffer from deadly illnesses before. Yet the autopsy reveals no sign of them ever having been sick.
Could there be a plant, a miracle cure able to save the world from sickness en-masse? If so, why nobody has ever heard of it before? And what does the number 536 have to do with it all?
Laura is a doctor, a highly rational person. She knows that miracle cures simply don’t exist. So when she is hired by a very rich and very sick person to prove the herb’s existence, she takes on the job because proving is the flip coin of disproving.
While reading the book I was reminded of just how much I used to love the author’s Repairman Jack series. I was back again in a dangerous world, full of exciting medicine, supernatural and adventure.
F. Paul Wilson is a doctor (part-time family practitioner), so his medical knowledge is evident in this latest story as well. It brings a realism that only people who have helped others through medicine can bring to life.
The story is fast paced, which is usual in the FPW novels and a trait that I love. And of course, it is part of the puzzle I still try to put together, part of a bigger world full of supernatural, things that go bump in the day and night, and things of wonder.
Having read the Repairman Jack series, I would urge you to pick them up before you read Panacea. For the story itself, Panacea can be read on its own. There is a great plot, a bit of attraction between the two main characters (Laura Hanning and Rick Hayden), lots of action and a rewarding ending.
It is a highly-entertaining medical thriller with lots of twists and turns that will keep you on your toes every step of the way.
Many things, however, will make even more sense if you are already in this world, a part of it, eager to soak up the bits and pieces that are still left to discover. The author says about this world:
“The preponderance of my work deals with a history of the world that remains undiscovered, unexplored, and unknown to most of humanity.”
One that begs to be discovered, book by book.