The First Horseman Summary
by John Case

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The First Horseman

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In the Bible’s Book of Revelations, the thundering ride of the Four Horsemen signals the arrival of the Apocalypse—the tumultuous last days of the world. The First Horseman is Plague.

John Case’s THE FIRST HORSEMAN opens with the midnight murder of a middle-aged husband and his wife in their home in New York’s Hudson River Valley by a trio of young strangers. The next chapter jumps to a disease-ridden village in North Korea, where the North Korean Army systematically executes the entire population and then completely obliterates every sign that the village ever existed using a high-powered thermal bomb.

Meanwhile on the other side of the globe an icebreaker shoulders its way toward a remote island in the Arctic, carrying a scientific team that hopes to unearth the eighty-year-old remains of several miners from their graves in the permafrost. In those graves, the researchers from U.S. Centers for Disease Control expect to find the last surviving viable samples of the virus that caused the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, the plague that killed thirty million people worldwide.

A fanatical terrorist group calling itself the Temple of Light is about to release an easily transmittable form of the Spanish Flu virus into the atmosphere. Led by a brilliant but deranged Frenchman named Solange, the group plans is to radically reduce the human population of the planet, to reach what they believe is the Earth’s ecologically sustainable level of human life.

As Temple members prepare to put their plan into action, with New York City as their first target, WASHINGTON POST reporter Frank Daley and Annie Adair, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health, find themselves in a deadly race to determine how and where the attack will come.