Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 26 June 2012
This was my second book by the author, and it did not disappoint at all.
First up, to me as an Indian reader, there is a marked difference between the usage of the English language by the author, being British, and the predominantly American authors one gets to read through Amazon. The author's narrative is intelligent, impecable, smooth and his vocabulary is exceptional. Most significant is the absence of dramatic, high-pitched, and brusque narration. Hardly any slangs, abbreviations, or acronyms used. So, instead of 'asap', it is "as soon as possible"; instead of "BTW" or "by the way", it is "incidentally"...... all in all, it is an absolute pleasure to read his works.
Now, coming to the novel itself. The story revolves around two parallel developments- one of mysterious deaths of two young girls who are found to have died of cancer inexplicably, and the other is the co-operation between a general hospital and a commercial enterprise for testing new forms of gene-therapy for cancer treatment. In the middle of both these parallel developments we meet our protagonist Dr. Neef, who happen's to be a doctor involved both in the deaths of the girls as well as of a few other people who seem to have gotten infected mysteriously from the same contaminated source, and also in administering the gene-therapy trials. The plot builds up nicely throwing the reader into a world of deceit, red-tape, injurious competition, obtrusive media and government cover-up.
The pace of the novel is decent, but not fast. The mystery is intriguing, but not confounding or astonishing. The plot is interesting, but not overly exciting. Then, why did I like this, despite so many qualifications? In addition to my obvious liking of the author's use of the language, the answer lies in character development. Dr. Neef's character is brilliantly nuanced, and so completely natural, that he is believable as a real person. Similarly, the other characters of the novel are also very "real", all of them having their respective strengths and failings. There are no over-the-top heroics, and yet we see a hero emerge. We are made to wish for a miracle to ensure a happy ending, but none happens; yet the story ends happily.
If you are looking for nail-biting, edge of the seat thrills and chills, please give this a go and pick something else. If, however, you wish to read a suspense fiction for the sheer joy of reading, don't miss this!