Those kinds of trips cost a lot of money, though, and Hal no longer has any grants. So, he finds himself a private donor, an egomaniac desperate to live forever. With his money, Hal is able to get a team of marine biologists to take him down to the depths of the sea. Only something goes wrong with the expedition -- several of the crew members become ill, and then go nuts and try to kill everybody else. Then Hal's twin brother Rob, also a bacteriologist, is murdered. He leaves behind evidence that he was on the trail of something big -- someone is using altered bacteria to control people's minds; spraying it on food and then essentially brainwashing the victims who consume it. Those bad guys are, Hal discovers, somehow linked to Nazi, Germany. And then seem especially determined to stop Hal's research on aging. But why?
While I really found the plot of this novel convoluted beyond belief, I
still enjoyed it quite a bit. I didn't find the ending very satisfying
(seemed convenient), but the ride to the end was pretty exciting and
interesting. The science is good and there is a good balance between it
and the plot (sometimes serious sci-fi gets so scientifically intense the
technical stuff overshadows and bogs down the plot -- that doesn't happen
here). I'll definitely look for more by Bear -- and recommend this one to
fans of the genre.
There's something about the way the details of the horror that struck them all are presented -- almost casually, here and there admist Ellen's stories of her childhood -- that very clearly conveys Ellen's state of mind. Her reluctance to recall the terrible thing as a whole. As the book progresses, she reveals more and more to us, as she herself finally comes to address head-on the demons that have haunted her for so long. This same technique also creates an extremely suspenseful atmosphere for the book -- I HAD to find out what happened. I HAD to keep reading. I literally read this book in two sittings. The second time I picked it up, I could not put it down until it was all over. Incredibly, the shocking truth very closely resembled a true life event that has been in the news lately, even though this book was written years ago and in Dutch. Really reminds you how much we are alike -- all of us people, all over the world. Our fears, our love, and our tragedies.
Outstanding novel -- moving and unforgettable. Highly recommended!
This was a fast-paced, well-plotted novel. I really enjoyed the
characters and the setting and the storyline was creative and original.
Quite happy to discover there are already others in this series!
Lincoln, of course, easily pinpoints the location of the ship after being given just a little information about it and the INS immediately sets out in pursuit. However, before they can get close, the Ghost blows the ship up, killing almost all the passengers (whom the Ghost refers to as "piglets"). A few of the piglets manage to escape and get onto life rafts, only to find the Ghost is trying to pick them off one by one with a handgun. Finally, they manage to get clear of him and land on shore. But they know something has gone terribly awry and that the Ghost will not stop until they are all dead, so they promptly go into hiding.
Meanwhile, Lincoln and Amelia are picking up pieces of the puzzle from the wreck and the evidence they find on the shore. They also manage to rescue one more piglet, a doctor named John Sung who was shot by the Ghost and survived by playing dead in the water. With the help of John and a Chinese cop who joins them, they begin working to track down not only the Ghost but the remaining survivors. As they build up clues, they start to figure out the truth behind the entire voyage and the Ghost's involvement. And they also start to figure out that the Ghost is getting inside information -- there is a mole somewhere in the operation and if they don't figure out who it is, the remaining piglets will surely be killed and both Lincoln and Amelia may go down with them.
It was a pretty intriguing storyline, actually. But what bothered me was the lack of good forensics this time around. The few "clues" they find weren't all that interesting and I wasn't excited or impressed by any of the crime scene work. Maybe I've been spoiled by "C.S.I.," but while the forensics was my favorite part of the three previous Rhyme novels, it seemed really secondary this time around. Also, there were too many times when Deaver clearly led us to believe one thing and then tried to shock us by revealing the truth to be the exact opposite. That works once, maybe twice, in a novel. But if you pull that game over and over, by the middle, the reader figures it out and starts assuming the opposite is always true -- and is then disappointed when that keeps being the case.
Still, even a bad Lincoln Rhyme novel is a really great way to spend a
weekend. And, I was realizing as I read this one that it's been long
enough since I read the earlier ones that I could probably reread them
right about now and really enjoy them. So, watch for them to start
popping up in the list again soon! Recommended to already-established
fans of the Rhyme series -- but newbies should start at the beginning with
"The Bone Collector."
I really enjoyed this novel, although there are a few slow moments.
It's a complex look at obsession and desire, and a pretty intriguing
mystery to boot. I also greatly enjoyed the historical aspects of the
setting and characters. This would be an excellent novel for book clubs
-- it's not just a great mystery, but also a wonderful exploration of
marriage and what obsession can do to the human psyche. Recommended!
The novel tracks both the girl and the young man over the next decade or so of their lives, focusing strongly on their separate experiences during WWII (he as a soldier, she as a nurse). Both of their actions are continually influenced by their shared past and the emotions they cannot shake as a result of that one fateful day in their youth. The girl's shame weighs heavily on her -- and his anger and rejection of anything resembling forgiveness leads him down a path he never thought he'd be capable of traveling.
Taken together, this is a wonderful story of the evolution of peoples' minds as they experience their various pieces of life. It's a story not just about shame and forgiveness, so much as the struggle to put things right -- both of them -- the struggle for an atonement neither can really achieve.
Amazing story, amazing writing, amazing book! This was my first McEwan
novel -- it definitely won't be my last. HIGHLY recommended!
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