A Novel by
Mark Anthony Powers
Nature’s Bite is the 3rd novel in Mark Anthony Powers’ medical thriller series.
It’s April 2024, and a mysterious visit from FBI agents interrupts a quiet evening at Dr. Phineas Mann’s house.
Worsening climate change is leading to more difficult asthma cases, and Phineas is tasked with investigating a novel drug treatment with Dr. Marie Porter for the pharmaceutical giant, SynMedical. Marie has just returned to North Carolina 26 years after her single mother abruptly extracted her from the sixth grade to disappear without explanation into the rural Northwest.
Meanwhile, the Republican U.S. President, in the final year of his second term, develops alpha gal syndrome. Lone Star ticks that find their way north as the planet warms cause this life-threatening allergic condition.
Then a surprising assignment sends Phineas and Marie, against their wills, into intrigue at the highest levels in a hotter, dirtier, and more polarized country.
Praise for Nature’s Bite
“In a thriller set in the very near future, Powers delivers propulsive storytelling and a plot that surrounds climate change, ecology, and global health. Nods to the present day political climate provide an additional layer of relevancy and intrigue. The prose style is vivid, clear, and effective. The author’s knowledge of global warming, pharmaceuticals, and beekeeping, is evident throughout. Nature’s Bite offers an unusual premise that cleverly combines elements of medical and political thriller with climate fiction.”
— The BookLife Prize
“Nature’s Bite, the third of a medical mystery series by Dr. Mark Anthony Powers, weaves the grim realities of climate change, fascinating medical detail, and presidential politics into an intricate plot filled with twists and surprises — as well as delightful wry humor.”
— Cat Warren, author of the NYT bestseller What the Dog Knows and Professor Emerita of English, North Carolina State University
“Nature’s Bite begins with a tick bite, on the derriere, of the President of the United States. He’s got Alpha Gal Syndrome, and Dr. Phineas Mann, an almost-retired pulmonologist and beekeeper, can’t suppress a grin. Dr. Mann’s grin disappears in this climate-fiction thriller when men in black pound at his door. What does the FBI want? Is Dr. Mann’s past back to bite him?
During a summer of withering heat, Dr. Mann’s life is upended by storm cell-like events, unpredictable and potentially lethal, like the warming earth itself. The calm against malevolence, Dr. Mann’s family and his passion for bees and beagles will warm the heart of the reader. For fans of Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy and The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi, nature’s bite will sting, but leave the reader hopeful and, as if donning a beekeeper’s suit, armed to fight for change.”
— Sara E. Johnson, author of the Alexa Glock Forensic Mysteries
“Mark Powers’ Nature’s Bite gives us a scary glimpse into an alternate future in which a narcissistic president retains power. He shows us all too convincingly how mismanagement of climate policy and public health can have dramatic and far-reaching negative consequences on our health and the environment. He beautifully illustrates the potentially life-altering effects of clinical trials research and why strict regulations are needed. Throughout this harrowing ride, Mark uses his knowledge of medicine and beekeeping to skillfully educate the reader on the basics and nuances of these disciplines. A fantastic read!”
— Loretta G. Que, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Duke University and Chief of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
“In Nature’s Bite, Mark Powers keeps the story moving with a steadily moving plot and characters that are consistent and well-drawn throughout the novel. The concluding episodes are especially strong. They are fast paced, made realistic with ample medical detail and credible dialog, and an absolutely killer characterization of a former President, whom everyone will recognize — a delightful veer into satire.”
— Rosemary Waldorf, Mayor of Chapel Hill, North Carolina 1995-2001
“In the third installment of Mark Anthony Powers’ medical thriller series, Dr. Phineas Mann is back, and this time tangled up in an effort to save democracy—and biodiversity—from the whims of a feckless demagogue. Powers deftly imagines a not-too-distant future in which a tyrant attempts to puppeteer science, risking the fate of our ecosystem. Powers shines a light on alarming planetary and social implications of unchecked power in a page-turner that is both frightening and delightful to read.”
— Alexis Luckey, Executive Director, Toxic Free North Carolina
“Powers does an excellent job weaving together a band of nuanced characters as they discover the truths of a not-so-far removed alternate reality. Devastating climate change, roving bands of political thugs, heart-wrenching medical scenarios—I certainly didn’t expect to laugh out loud at the final plot twists, but Nature’s Bite delivers the perfect balance right through to the end.”
— Ashley Troth, Ph.D., Extension Agent, Consumer and Commercial Ornamental Horticulture, North Carolina Cooperative Extension
“While this political thriller offers an alternative to contemporary history, Powers’ book neatly captures the ‘biting’ impact of climate change along with the absurdly divisive political response, as if ripped directly from news headlines. An engaging read by a percipient author.”
— Thomas Stevens, artist and gallery owner, Mayor of Hillsborough, North Carolina 2005-2019
Mark Anthony Powers grew up in the small town of West Lebanon, NH. At Cornell University, he branched out into Creative Writing and Russian while majoring in engineering. After receiving his MD from Dartmouth, he went south to the University of North Carolina for an internship and residency in Internal Medicine, followed by a fellowship in Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine.
After almost forty years in clinical practice and teaching, he retired from Duke University as an Associate Professor Emeritus of Medicine and began his exploration of other parts of his brain. Writing, gardening, IT, and magic courses were just some of the enjoyment that followed. A deep dive into beekeeping led to his presidency of the county beekeeping association and certification as a Master Beekeeper.
Two cups of coffee and two hours of writing most mornings produced the medical thrillers A Swarm in May, Breath and Mercy, Nature’s Bite, and his forthcoming book in this series, The Desperate Trials of Phineas Mann.