Hallie is a scuba diving instructor and caver who used to work for DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). She had been let go for an alleged case of leaking classified information. In the midst of almost dying from a dangerous dive, she is called back by DARPA to work on a project of extreme national security. It turns out that there is a dangerous illness that is immune to antibiotics which can turn into a pandemic situation. The research that Hallie had been working on prior to her dismissal from DARPA may hold a clue to a possible cure.
Hallie is at first reluctant to go to the place that "unjustly" dismissed her but her former boss tells her how dire the situation is and to throw any past incidents out, to do right for the country. Hallie goes back and to complete her research she needs "moonmilk," a fungus like substance only found in the Cueva de la Luz in Mexico. This cave (cueva) is extemely dangerous and Hallie barely survived her last expedition there. To top it off it is an extremely dangerous area full of narcotraficantes (drug trafficers), corrupt police and dangerous native people.
The moonmilk is needed almost immediately because the illness will spread exponentially and millions could die within a matter of two weeks. Hallie goes to the cave-site with a team of scientists and a special ops agent (Bowman). The time in the cave will be close to a week to get in and extract the moonmilk and get out without being killed by the many lurking dangers inside.
To add to the challenge there are some corrupt agents trying to prevent Hallie's quest and research, who report to a mysterious Mr. Adelaide. The book really gets interesting when Hallie and her team finally reach the cave. The author's decriptions in the cave are so vivid that the reader seems actually transported there. You get to brave the dangers inside including going through some very tight spaces. Some of these descriptions may be difficult if you are even a little claustrophobic.
The book is well written and the characters are interesting. The author throws some hints near the end that there may be a sequel.
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