When a bout of food poisoning strikes a residence for lively seniors blessed with generous pensions and high-ranking political connections, Dr. Zol Szabo, public health doctor turned medical detective, assembles his investigative team. But the epidemic’s source proves elusive; the death count rises and when the scourge threatens someone close to Zol, he calls in his friend and colleague Hamish Wakefield, a microbe connoisseur with a nose for exotic diagnoses. Though Hamish uncovers other dangers, he can’t crack the puzzle, and neither can the health unit’s outbreak-hunting whiz kid. It takes the observant octogenarians to expose the deaths for what they really are: a string of murders. Fast-paced and intricately plotted, Tampered is second in a series of books to feature Dr. Zol Szabo and his quirky surrounding cast of mystery-solving public health officials.
Ross Pennie is a physician and a professor at McMaster University. He is the author of The Unforgiving Tides. He lives in Brantford, Ontario.
"Tampered, set in Hamilton, Ont., proves Pennie — McMaster professor and practising physician — is no one-book wonder. . . .This one is a good weekend book." “www.theglobeandmail.com (May 6, 2011)
"The prose in this new series goes down as smoothly as the fine scotch favored by the lead character, Dr. Zol Szabo." “New York Journal of Books (May 1, 2011)
"Pennie builds tension perfectly, grabbing readers from the first page and keeping them entranced, both with the story itself and with nagging worries about the safety of the food they eat. All the characters...are realistically portrayed, their actions and emotions well matched with both their personalities and the plot. Must reading for fans of Robin Cook and Peter Clement." “Booklist
"Perhaps this sort of deliciously morbid thriller is becoming our particular gift to the genre. First came Montreal’s Kathy Reichs and her books about a forensic anthropologist (which form the basis of the TV series Bones). Now comes Dr. Pennie and his insight into the world of exotic cooties. Canada may not have given the world a lot of action heroes. But we sure know how to give it the creeps." “National Post
"Pennie's plot has a winning cast of players and a plot with delicious, unpredictable twists, ending in a riveting finale. Tampered is the second book in a Dr. Zol Szabo trilogy. The first, Tainted , was published in 2009. I'm looking forward to No. 3." — Waterloo Region Record (August 27, 2011)
"Canadian physician Pennie's mystery debut introduces a winning protagonist, an Ontario public health doctor and former chef...The appealing supporting cast includes a gorgeous female PI. Pennie, an infectious-disease specialist, makes the medical jargon accessible." “Publishers Weekly