Saturday, July 18, 2009

66. Whiteout by Ken Follett

"This book is a bio-thriller taking place over a wintry Christmas holiday in northern Scotland and well larded with family drama. Toni Gallo is the driven head of security for Oxenford Medical (aka the Kremlin), a research facility working on a cure for Madoba-2, an especially virulent strain of Ebola. She also has a running feud with her ex, a local cop, and is pestered by the attentions of newsman Carl. But she really wants to be with her widower boss, Stanley, whose daughter Olga's husband, Hugo, is paying unwelcome attention to his sister-in-law, Miranda, herself in uneasy love with a milquetoast boyfriend, Ned, whose daughter, Sophie, is the object of young Craig's budding affections. It is not until midnight on Christmas Eve that all this soap is rinsed away, and the plot kicks into high gear, as a band of desperate, violent thieves, led by Stanley's wastrel son, Kit, lay siege to the well-defended Kremlin in the midst of a terrible blizzard. Predictably, things go suddenly, frightfully wrong. From here on out, Follett's sure hand at the controls of a high-octane plot delivers the expected thrills in expected ways."
David WrightCopyright © American Library Association.

I found this thriller pretty good up to the point about a third of the way when Follett throes in a really crude sexual line. A few pages later, he does it again. I almost quit, they were so sleazy and unnecessary, but decided to see if those were just anomalies. With the exception of a couple of teenagers fooling around, a bit that really had something to do with the plot and was written much better, Follett played it pretty straight until the very end when he decides to throw in a whole paragraph of ick. Actually this was not a bad story for its genre, but I was appalled at these few instances of smut. The worse part was that they were just stupid, had nothing to do with the story, and almost seemed to be written by someone else. I don't know if this is Follett's way of making the story more sexy (didn't work) or what. Anyway, I took a full point off my rating for the really dumb sexual nonsense.

Rating: 2.5


  1. It's been several years, but I remember thinking that this one started out good, faded in the middle and ended up not being as good as his other books.

  2. I've never read anything by Follet (even Pillars of the Earth sadly). Have to pencil that book in.

    Thanks for the review.

  3. Good for you for taking off a point for unnecessary smut!