‘The Manhattan Project’ by Paul McNeive

‘New York City is under attack’

“New York is under attack. Millions may die. But the enemy’s weapons are invisible, undetectable and creating terror at lightning speed.

An NYPD cop, John Wyse, finds himself pitted against a Hiroshima survivor turned criminal mastermind determined to avenge the deaths of his family, and all who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It’s a race against time to break the links in a terrible plot intent on causing medical meltdown.

‘The Manhattan Project’ is a fast-paced bio-terrorism thriller spanning Japan, the Middle East and America.”


Paul McNeive lost his legs in a fire aged 20 and this life-changing experience and what happened to him on his road to recovery inform his debut novel, ‘The Manhattan Project’. In a highly successful career, Paul was the managing director of Savills, Ireland, and is now a motivational speaker, a writer for the Irish Independent and was the world’s first double amputee helicopter pilot. Paul is an ambassador for the Douglas Bader Foundation and on the board of Ireland’s National Rehabilitation Hospital. In 2019, he was enlisted by the Chief Medical Officer for England to help raise awareness of the worldwide antibiotic resistance crisis.

Published by Black and White, May 2019, and to whom I thank for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.


This book certainly creates a chill, particularly when you think of the potential for a real threat; the very modern and palpable theme of bio-terrorism lurking underneath this fictionalise account of a biological attack on the people of New York, is scary.

The narrative splits several times, from past to current and from different perspectives – both as we piece together the building threat, and from where the desire for revenge was born; the awful destruction of Hiroshima and the person who never forgot and would never stop seeking vengeance for their own devastating loss. In New York, a deflated NYPD cop, John Wyse becomes caught up in the plot to destroy and devastate, little does he know the trauma it will bring to his life as he gradually pulls pieces of the puzzle together.

The story was a little of a slow build, for me, and I did put it down for a while about half-way through; I’m glad I carried on as suddenly the narrative pace hurtles along and there are many nail-biting moments as we sprint towards the climax. It’s a fascinating and scary story of human resistance to antibiotics and this fear is exploited to the maximum as the book’s plot develops into a race to solve the medical dilemma and attempt to defeat it. There are some harrowing descriptions of the victims of this awful attack and the devastation it brings to families. Truly terrifying.

Overall a great book, with an array of characters, many serving the plot development (rather like an episode of Casualty, when you’re watching people in their daily lives knowing that soon they’re going to be injured or under threat). All the threads come together, built around the likeable John Wyse character and balanced with the terrorists’ narratives interjecting throughout. Some moments of action and a surprise twist along the way make for some good reading.

A well-written, intelligently constructed thriller read; it stays within the boundaries of realism, which does make it ultimately all the more terrifying.

Recommended Read from me.

Genre: Adult thriller with themes of bioterrorism

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