24 February 2006

Whiteout, by Ken Follett

February 24 2006 (21:46:00) ( 0 views )

I've read Ken Follett's novels for many years, remembering back to The Eye of the Needle, and The Key to Rebecca as two of the best thrillers ever. His writing has been quite diverse since, including such unusual yet terrific books as Pillars of the Earth and On Wings of Eagles -- the latter being a nonfiction account of Ross Perot's efforts to rescue his employees from the Iranian revolutionaries in the days following the overthrow of the Shah.

Follett has a knack for the thriller, and for the original. Both are well displayed in this novel, which is a great weekend's entertainment or just about right for a long airplane trip.

I must mention that I'm not really happy with the bio-terrorism angle of the plot in this book. It seems that both Mr. Follet's and my government have made enough hay on that theme without his help. But having said that, the plot is very well done and the book provides plenty of suspense along with sufficient character development to keep us involved.

The principal character of the book is Toni Gallo, an ex-cop now working as head of security at a medical research laboratory in Scotland. The abovementioned terrorists plan to steal a deadly virus that is stored in the lab, and the attempt is carried out during an unexpected blizzard that chokes the roads and makes every movement a challenge.

The story of how Gallo handles this situation and the other characters in her life as well is well thought out and believable.