HarperCollins | November 2000 | 448 Pages | ISBN: 0380732211
Stacy Richardson is a feisty microbiology graduate student at the University of Southern California, taking her final doctoral exams. In the middle of her “Quals,” Stacy learns that her husband, head of the University's Microbiology Department, has “committed suicide” while on sabbatical at Fort Detrick, Maryland, where a super-secret bio-weapons lab run by Admiral James G. Zoll and known as the Devil's Workshop is located.
Meanwhile, two train-riding hobos, “Lucky” Cunningham and “Hollywood Mike,” are traveling near Vanishing Lake, Texas. Unbeknownst to them, a prison at Vanishing Lake is being used by Admiral Zoll and Dr. Dexter DeMille, a Nobel laureate microbiologist, to test the newest generation of bio-weapons, called Prions. Strategic operational Prions can attack specific ethnic groups by targeting their unique DNA characteristics, resulting in the quick destruction of the brain's mood center and then death.
A bio-accident at Vanishing Lake turns the town into a living hell; one of the many casualties is Hollywood Mike, who, it turns out, is the son of egomaniacal, larger-than-life motion picture producer Buddy Brazil. Dr. DeMille is able to escape from Admiral Zoll and the disaster at Vanishing Lake with the help of Reverend Fannon Kincaid, a charismatic and violent hobo priest, and his band of train-riding white supremacists.
Combining classic elements of science gone awry with a cast of characters that firmly fuses America's rail-riding past with its terrifying, bio-engineering future, The Devil's Workshop is a thrilling ride set against a racially charged doomsday.