Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Escape from CONICA
Author: Robert Cummings
Heroes: Phil Barcardi and Ted Rosenberg
Genre: M/M Action/Alternate Universe
Length: 210 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 18, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, All Romance eBooks & Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes
Blurb: In an America that achieved equality long before our own, Phillip Barcardi works as a security contractor. He’s hired as a site commander at a major pharmaceutical company, only to be kidnapped from his post after learning the truth about an aggressive virus spreading across the East Coast, one that targets homosexuals. A small group of wealthy and powerful dissenters are hell-bent on forming a “New World Order” that will remold society into their twisted vision. As US citizens are choosing sides for or against homosexuals, Phil’s husband, Theodore Rosenberg, a high school teacher, is sent to a “containment” zone where accused homosexuals are infected rather than saved—all by executive order of the President. As Ted struggles to understand what’s happening around him, Phil strives to break free before the people in power infect Ted with the deadly virus. No matter what it takes, Phil will fight his way to Ted, even if it means exposing himself to the virus. He only hopes he won’t be too late to save them both.
Powerful! Gripping! Horrific! A big “What If” Scenario that is just too appalling to imagine…but still, what if…?
This is an “on-the-edge-of-your-seat” drama that has the distinct possibility of scaring the ever loving crap out of you. It’s the story of a conspiracy theory proven true, it’s everything you’ve ever heard about the boogie man, but never wanted to believe, and it’s a step-by-step guide on how “we the people” are really a bunch of sheep at the mercy of some truly evil people.
Phil and Ted have been married five years and live on east coast of the U.S. of A, but in an alternate universe type setting. The history has been rewritten a little bit but the power play is very much the same. In this world, there is now a cure for HIV, there is equality for all sexualities, and life appears to be quite normal. But just like in our world, things are not always as they appear and money talks. There are powerful people behind closed doors making plans for the complete annihilation of not just the gay gene, but the entire homosexual population.
As with any conspiracy theory, there has to be a plan that was set in motion years in advance while key players were placed in power positions. In this book, those players have all been set, and the time has come to dupe the country into believing a killer virus was set loose on the population and that the government was working hard to find the cause and contain the casualties. With the mass casualties, they have created fear and isolated an entire geographical area in containment zones called the CONICA. Inside the CONICA, the people are systematically rounded up under the guise of being offered testing and treatment for those “infected”. What they fail to understand is that the testing is for the gay gene and the treatment for a positive result is actually the inoculation of the killer virus…not the cure.
This book gripped me from the beginning because you meet Phil and Ted and begin to really care for them. You see them behaving in a committed, loving, and normal relationship just before the world goes crazy. So by getting to know them, you begin to feel the horror that is about to be befall them and hope that somehow they can overcome. Phil is ex-military; a real alpha male, while his hubby Ted is a high school history teacher. I loved them both, but Ted was a little whiny at times and I wanted to whack him.
You feel the terror they experience when Phil realizes what’s really going on but is now in a race against the clock to save his husband. You hurt for Ted when he believes that he will never see Phil again. Can they escape the CONICA, can they avoid the virus, and will they ever have a normal life again?
So, this is basically a fast-paced, well-written, and complete story about not only the drama and tragedy unfolding around Phil and Ted, but also about them and their lives. There is the romance factor which was beautiful, but the insanity and brilliance was in the complete believability factor that something so horrific could happen to any one of us.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*