Aficionados of suspense and political intrigue are in for a treat when Smithtown author Jeb Ladouceur introduces his sixth novel, The Oba Project, at Borders in Stony Brook on Sunday.
The book’s eye-catching cover is dominated by an image of the international biohazard symbol. It’s an ominous foreshadowing of the chilling theme whose far-reaching and deadly ramifications are explored in what many are calling Ladouceur’s finest work to date—the use of germ warfare as a deterrent to terrorism.
As the book begins, although United Nations members have agreed to put an end to biological warfare, the American government has manipulated Canada into allowing a virtually undetectable underground facility to be constructed in the remote town of Oba. Stored in this secret facility, precariously close to the Great Lakes, will be an enormous cache of one of the deadliest and fastest-acting biological killers known to man: the Ebola virus.
The momentum builds as the destinies of the characters that Ladouceur animates with such brilliance collide. Sent to Oba by octogenarian friend Saul Richman, young reporter Abbie Hodge tries to uncover what happened to Kid Granite, Richman’s colorful, larger-than-life former boxing partner. While Hodge will discover love when he least expects it, he’ll also stumble on something far more sinister.
Ladouceur is known for deftly interweaving fact with fiction, and this book is no exception.
The character of Saul Richman is based on Saul Richmond, a friend of Ladouceur’s who died more than a decade ago. Richmond fought Kid Granite in the USA and Canada in the glory days of the 1930s.
He struck literary gold when Richmond shared Kid Granite’s “mesmerizing letters” with him, Ladouceur said.
“I found proof-positive that my friend’s accounts of what I had assumed were wildly exaggerated exploits had all been quite faithful descriptions,” Ladouceur said, adding that he couldn't resist taking Richmond up on the suggestion that he write a book about Kid Granite, and put Richmond and his wife in there, too.
Ladouceur will be speaking and signing copies of The Oba Project on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Borders, located at 2130 Nesconset Highway, Stony Brook. Refreshments will be served, and there will be gifts and door prizes.
Attendees will also have the chance to join Ladouceur’s Thriller Fan Club, which is growing by leaps and bounds. Linda Deya, an employee of the Smithtown Post Office, is the club’s president. The club plans monthly contests with prizes and may even get a sneak peak of their favorite author's upcoming novel.
“I first met Jeb a few years back when he came to my counter location to mail a manuscript to his literary agent in suburban Philadelphia," she said. "Since that fateful day I have eagerly looked forward to the release of every new book that 'Long Island's Master of Suspense' has written."
To learn more about the club, send Deya an email with your name and contact information.