ABC News is reporting about a man, Paul Karason of Oregon, whose skin is now a bright shade of blue – the result of a rare medical syndrome known as argyria, or silver poisoning. He began using silver as a form of alternative medicine, not realizing what might happen to his skin. It started a decade ago, when he saw an ad in a new-age magazine promising health and rejuvenation through colloidal silver.
For those of you who follow my writing, you’ll be interested in knowing that I’m co-authoring my first novel with my dear friend, Paul McCusker. The tentative title of the book is The Secret of the Blue Monk.
Here’s a brief synopsis:
In early summer, 1666, the Black Death, the plague which had broken out in London the year before, has reached and ravaged the people of a small English village called Eyam. Over half the population of 350 has already died and, after a brief lull in illness, the number of dead is rising again.
In an unprecedented move, the village’s two religious leaders and political enemies – Thomas Stanley and William Mompesson – meet and agree to a radical intervention: the village must be quarantined in the hope that they will keep the disease from spreading any further. The villagers agreed, knowing they were sealing their own doom.
By the year’s end, only 80 villagers will be left alive.
Yet, one of the survivors, a secretive friar, whose skin is a deep blue, provided spiritual care for the dying and their surviving family, before mysteriously disappearing. He was known, affectionately, as the Blue Monk.
It is now early autumn in the twenty-first century. A new pandemic plague of a quick killing Ebola virus threatens the modern world.
Finding a cure is left to the doctors working on a top-secret government team. Their plan is radical: use their forensic skills to unearth clues from the village of Eyam to find out why 80 villagers survived what should have been a sure death.
The secret to the cure lies with finding the body of the Blue Monk. With the right tests and samples, there may be hope to stop this modern plague. But time is growing short.
And so begins TSI: Time Scene Investigations – the first in a series of novels in which our forensic heroes investigate the past in order to save the future.