Ted York’s third novel explores the terrifying prospect of biological warfare

Sussex author Ted York found inspiration for Tears of the West in an unlikely place: his wife’s makeup bag. “I happened to glance at the huge number of chemicals in the cosmetics,” explains Ted. “It struck me that it would be very easy to secretly add toxic chemicals, so I began to investigate who was monitoring them.”

Tears of the West follows Dee, a postgraduate student who finds herself caught up in the midst of a potentially life-threatening investigation. It all starts when she begins her PhD thesis at Imperial College London, entitled ‘Is Nanotechnology being Properly Controlled?’ Her investigations into the use of nanotechnology in cosmetics lead her to conclude that some pharmaceutical companies, one in particular, are including potentially dangerous nanoparticles in their women’s cosmetics. The composition of the nanoparticles are like nothing she had ever seen before, so in confusion she seeks the help of two people: her friend and her tutor. Shortly after, they are both found dead.

Her godfather, ex-SAS officer Colonel John Harriman, agrees to help her investigate and together they make a frightening discovery. Simultaneously, the CIA are also conducting a worldwide investigation, concerned that the ingredients of some cosmetics could severely affect fertility. The true scale of the operation is discovered as they unearth a terrorist link to al-Qaeda. The terrifying nature of the nanoparticles triggers a manhunt for those behind it.

With the first major biotechnology attack on the West already underway, will they track them down – or is it too late?

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