In his book "The Ghost Map" Steven Johnson depicts the terrifying cholera epidemic of Broad Street in Victorian London. The physician John Snow, living in the direct vicinity, studied the outbreak and discovered the contamination of drinking water by overflowing cesspools and the spreading of cholera by it. This led to a new understanding of the disease and changed the way water pipes were constructed.
The Ghost Map tells this intense story with an astonishing amount of background knowledge. I greatly enjoyed Steven Johnson's book and have come to check out his other works after I finished reading The Ghost Map.