3 December 2009

Forgotten Book: THE SATAN BUG, Ian Stuart

This week's contribution to Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books

One of the joys of writing my weekly contribution to the Forgotten Books meme, is the research I undertake. Today I chose a book that I read at the end of 1977. I couldn't remember anything about the author Ian Stuart, but the cover images below will give you the clue to his true identity.

I read quite a lot of Alistair MacLean and his ilk on my way to becoming a crime fiction addict.

THE SATAN BUG was Alistair MacLean's ninth novel, originally published in 1962 under the pseudonym of Ian Stuart, and later republished under his own name. Apparently he used the name Ian Stuart on two novels, in order to prove that his books owed their popularity to their content rather than the name of the author.

The story of THE SATAN BUG revolves around the theft of two germ warfare agents, botulinum toxin and the indestructible “Satan Bug” (a laboratory-conceived derivative of poliovirus), from the Mordon Microbiological Research Establishment (similar to Porton Down). There is no vaccine for the Satan Bug and it is so infectious that any release will rapidly destroy all human life on Earth. With these phials of unstoppable power, a mad "environmentalist" threatens the country's population unless Mordon is razed to the ground.
The novel seems to have everything - murder, and attempt to hold the British government to ransom, and a plan to rob major banks.

In 1965 a film was made with the same name, loosely based on the book.


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks for sharing this one with us. That's the beauty of Friday's Forgotten Books. One's always learning about (or remembering) interesting titles : ).

Martin Edwards said...

I read this book as a teenager and loved it. Not sure if it has stood the test of time, but I also liked the other Stuart book, which was (I think) The Dark Crusader.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think I read all of MacLean so I must have read this too. The title is more familiar than any idea of a plot.

Evan Lewis said...

Dang, I keep meaning to try this guy. This is a good reminder.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering where you obtained the Satan Bug DVD cover picture above and if this is available from somewhere.

Kerrie said...

These were covers I discovered through Google searches


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