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About the Author

Ken Follett was twenty-seven when he wrote Eye of the Needle, an award-winning thriller that became an international bestseller. He then surprised everyone with The Pillars of the Earth, about the building of a cathedral in the Middle Ages, which continues to captivate millions of readers all over the world and its long-awaited sequel, World Without End, was a number one bestseller in the US, UK and Europe and was followed by the third novel in the Kingsbridge series A Column of Fire. He has written the bestselling Century trilogy, which comprises Fall of Giants, Winter of the World and Edge of Eternity.

Reviews

A laboratory technician's mysterious death on Christmas Eve (think: Ebola) puts a Scottish pharmaceutical firm's security chief, Toni Gallo, on high alert. The extra attention is unfortunate for Kit Oxenford, the lab director's bright but disgraced son, who is planning a Christmas heist of antiviral medicine. Beset by huge gambling debts, Kit now has to work off his losses with a criminal team (i.e., terrorists) more interested in the virus than the cure. Meanwhile, director Stanley Oxenford and the rest of his colorful family are gathering at their remote holiday home. Smart and conscientious Toni catches wind of Kit's plans, and a dynamic game of cat and mouse ensues-in the midst of a blizzard. Implausible? Probably. Exciting? Absolutely. Holidays and viruses aren't new to the bio-thriller field, but best-selling suspense author Follett (Hornet Flight) makes the formula work with his trademark strong females, large cast of characters, and race-against-the-clock pace. Have fun suggesting this title to John J. Nance and Tess Gerritsen fans or other readers looking for high-speed escapism. Strongly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/04.]-Terry Jacobsen, Santa Monica P.L., CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

In Follett's latest Le Mans-paced thriller, doses of the possible antidote to a deadly virus are stolen from a small pharmaceutical lab in Scotland, much to the dismay of the lab's security chief, Toni Gallo. Not only is the actual virus capable of decimating the British Isles, but the theft is certain to interfere with Toni's budding romance with the drug company's widowed founder, Stanley Oxenford. It is to Follett's credit that he is able to combine biological terrorism, romance, sadism, Alzheimer's disease and family dysfunction into an effective antidote to boredom. But these disparate elements, not to mention the idea of trapping heroes and villains with the virus in a country home cut off from the rest of humanity by a snowstorm, come close to parody. Reader Rosenblat's breathless British-accented narration crosses that line at times, particularly when she reads passages in which Follett tries, not always convincingly, to provide reasons for why his good guys can't summon help with their cell phones. On the other hand, she is extremely effective in delivering the novel's dialogue. Her Scottish brogues are especially impressive, as is the cruel Cockney accent she employs to add menace to the book's most unique character, a homicidal thug named Daisy who possesses a broken nose, a ring-pierced lip and beautiful hands. Simultaneous release with the Dutton hardcover (Forecasts, Nov. 15, 2004). (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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