Cover image for Fertile ground
Fertile ground
Mezrich, Ben, 1969-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
283 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Fertility expert Dr. Jake Lancet makes a chilling discovery--one third of the men tested in his facility are infertile, and that number is rising fast. Soon he finds a connection with horrific cases of bloody, Ebola-like fatalities--both pointing to a common source: a highly toxic product being tested in Boston by a sinister corporate cabal.

Author Notes

Ben Mezrich was born in 1969 and received a degree in social studies from Harvard University in 1991. He originally wrote fiction, occasionally under the pseudonym Holden Scott, before switching to nonfiction.

His nonfiction works include Ugly Americans, Busting Vegas, Rigged, and Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History. Two of his books were made into films. In 2008, Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions was made into the film 21 and in 2010, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal was made into the film Social Network.

He appeared on Court TV in the series High Stakes with Ben Mezrich and has hosted the World Series of Blackjack.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

There's a whopping coincidence at the center of Mezrich's fourth novel, a medical thriller in which two simultaneous, distinct epidemics are making their way through the greater Boston area. Fertility doctor Jake Foster discovers a new syndrome causing male sterility, including his own, while his wife, Brett, a second-year ER attending at Boston Central, has seen several healthy young men die from mysterious, massive internal and external hemorrhaging. Soon the husband and wife discover that both outbreaks have the same cause, the mysterious Compound G developed by a company called Alaxon. The head of this company, Simon Scole, expects his virtually undetectable and top-secret chemical (deliberately not identified, its potential use is not revealed to the reader until late in the story) to make a fortune and dominate the financial and political arenas. His son Malthus, the company's enforcer, is charged with the removal of any impediments to that planÄand the Fosters, with their knowledge linking the chemical to both medical crises, constitutes a serious danger to Alaxon's success. Good, innocent doctors get offed by inhuman killing machine Malthus, and the Fosters uncover the sinister conspiracy while continuing their thwarted attempts to conceive a baby, learning sexy lessons along the way. As the dead bodies pile up, the plot races toward a frantic, convoluted, but ultimately predictable resolution. In fact, the 27 chapters read more like 27 tidy, accessible movie scenes: the hero copes with a familiar, personal shortcoming (Jake's clinical approach to getting his wife pregnant is ruining his marriage), with clever bad-guy dialogue (Malthus Scole spouts clich‚d business maxims as he kills his victims) and the requisite "unexpected" betrayal. The plot has just enough science to make it plausible, and readers may tolerate the unlikely dovetailing of events, but this thriller is essentially ephemeral, enjoyable entertainment. While the characters won't imprint themselves on readers' minds, Mezrich competently weaves the hot topic of male infertility throughout his tumultuous tale. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Mezrich, who spooked us with his first work, Reaper‘soon to be a TV movie‘returns with a scary new medical thriller. While Dr. Jake Lancet is shocked by evidence of escalating male infertility, his doctor wife, Brett, finds herself mopping up after a fearsome Ebola-like disease. Soon they realize that the two diseases are linked. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.