Our brilliant scientific advisor, Jennifer Rohn, who runs a fantastic site called LabLit.com on which she features novels that have scientists as their main characters, has written a fascinating blog about helping us with our new novel, The Antidote, which will be the sequel to Catch Your Death.
A couple of months ago, we visited Jenny’s lab at University College London, and she showed us all the fascinating work she does. Before we started writing medical/science thrillers, we were both scientific novices, and have had to learn a lot about viruses and lab work, especially for The Antidote. And when we visited her lab, we were grabbed by how much deliciously dangerous stuff they keep there… perfect for one of the pivotal scenes in the new book, which is coming January 2013.
The conversation then turned to the best way to thwart someone during a chase scene.
“What’s the deadliest thing you’ve got in here?” Louise asked, all business.
“Well, I guess it would be the poisons,” I said. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of my departmental colleagues who I hadn’t noticed working nearby give me a really funny look. I opened the cabinet with its rusty little key and pointed out the small vials in turn. “We inherited these from the lab’s previous owner – they’re ancient.”
“But probably still deadly?”
“I expect so.”
“How about something more unusual?” Mark said. “Something fast and immediate.”
“I’d go for sulphuric acid.” I said, tapping the corrosive cupboard with its blazing danger symbols.
“Hmmm,” Louise said. “That’s a bit too…horrible, somehow.”
“Liquid nitrogen, perhaps?” I explained everything about cryoburns that I could remember from a long-ago health and safety briefing. Later, I sent them some photos of unfortunately disfigured lab workers I’d found on Google. “Or, if you just wanted to temporarily slow someone down, you could splash out a trail of alcohol behind you and set it on fire.”
You can read the whole post here: Death in the Lab.