Okay, here’s the deal. You and your pals — grad students, hotshot scientists-to-be — are invited to Hawaii to talk about cutting-edge jobs in microbiology. But after you learn that the company’s owner is a crook and a killer, he uses his new technology to shrink you from six feet tall to half an inch. You escape this fiend by fleeing into an isolated rain forest. You’re safe from the evil scientist there, but you’re soon running for your lives from ants, wasps, owls, centipedes, spiders, bats and other creatures that now seem as big as houses. Or, come to think of it, as big as dinosaurs are to regular-size humans. All of which makes sense because “Micro” is the latest posthumous novel by Michael Crichton, who not so long ago gave us those great people-vs.-dinosaur adventures “Jurassic Park” and “The Lost World.”
Crichton died in 2008 at the age of 66. He studied to be a doctor, but even before he finished medical school, he was writing thrillers. “The Andromeda Strain” made him famous at 27, and his 20-odd books are said to have sold more than 200 million copies in 36 languages. Thirteen of them were made into movies. His novels often combined medical and technological elements with an abundance of adventure and violence. At his death, he left this unfinished manuscript — among others — which was given to Richard Preston, himself a respected author of science-related novels such as “The Hot Zone,” to complete.