Whiteout is a book to curl up with in front of a roaring fire on a freezing winter's day. I had never read one of Ken Follett's books before, and I must admit to a slight feeling of disappointment on finishing this one. The basic plot is promising and well executed, but the characters are a little two-dimensional (with the exception of the self-pitying Kit, who is an excellent study in self-absorption and a refusal to accept responsibility). The plot itself, while intriguing, has one major weakness: any computer-based security system should have the passwords changed regularly, and a failure to change passwords after the discovery of a fraud committed by a member of staff would be incredibly sloppy security management. So immediately the credibility of one of the main characters is shot to pieces. Another event which stretches credibility is the apparent ability of one of the villains to function reasonably well after a car accident which would at the very least have severely incapacitated her, and would much more probably have killed her outright. Villains are no more indestructible than the rest of us; I know it makes for exciting story telling, but there is a limit to how much we should be expected to swallow. That said, I enjoyed Whiteout, in spite of its credibility glitches. I'm not sure, though, that I would want to read it again - and that, for me, is a criterion of superior story telling. Four stars rather than five, then!