The Andromeda Strain
A space probe falls back to earth and lands near a small town. The inhabitants find it and instead of calling the government decide it is a good idea to open it up. What they get for their lack of intelligence is death for them all, all except two souls who are far apart in age and lifestyle survive. Four scientist have been assigned to Wildfire to track and find a cure for something that has never been seen on this planet. It kills fast and silently in most cases not giving them time to even say goodbye.
I did like the book and think that it should be read because it does give you some more background if you have seen the movies.