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Whiteout | [Ken Follett]

Whiteout

Like no other suspense author in his genre, Follett reinvents the thriller with each new storyline. But nothing matches the intricate, knife-edge drama of Whiteout.
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Publisher's Summary

Like no other suspense author in his genre, Follett reinvents the thriller with each new storyline. But nothing matches the intricate, knife-edge drama of Whiteout.

A missing canister of a deadly virus. A lab technician bleeding from the eyes. Toni Gallo, the security director of a Scottish medical research firm, knows she has problems, but she has no idea of the nightmare to come.

As a Christmas Eve blizzard whips out of the north, several people converge on a remote family house. Stanley Oxenford, the research company's director, has everything riding on the drug he is developing to fight the virus, but he isn't the only one: his grown children, who have come to spend Christmas, have their eyes on the money it will bring; Toni Gallo, forced to resign from the police department in disgrace, is betting her career on keeping the drug safe; a local television reporter, determined to move up, has sniffed the story, even if he has to bend the facts to tell it; and a violent trio of thugs is on its way to steal it for a client already waiting, though what the client really has in mind is something that will shock them all.

As the storm worsens, the emotional sparks, jealousies, distrust, sexual attraction, and rivalries, crackle; desperate secrets are revealed; hidden traitors and unexpected heroes emerge. Filled with startling twists at every turn, Whiteout rockets Follett to a class by himself.

Don't miss Ken Follet discussing the history of the thriller and its role in literature at the 92nd Street Y.

©2004 Ken Follett; (P)2004 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"[The] nail-biter ending drags readers to the very edge of their seats and holds them captive until the last villain is satisfactorily dispatched." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (457 )
5 star
 (138)
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4.1 (179 )
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4.2 (175 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 10-17-06
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 10-17-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
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    "Good Story"

    I liked the story although predictable at times. Not his best book but much better that other writers. But it was very entertaining. I would recommend it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry Buckingham, VA, USA 04-23-06
    Harry Buckingham, VA, USA 04-23-06 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "fun, but not believable"

    I enjoyed this title (between winces) - Ken Follett is a master of suspense and plotting. But the main character, who is supposed to be an amazing expert in security, is a complete bonehead who fails to take the most elementary precautions while guarding an incredibly deadly virus. She (and the omniscient narrator) are constantly assuring us that the security measures are "state of the art" and the "best that is humanly possible". If that's true, we are all doomed. This security director allows unescorted visitors, doesn't change passwords, allows "tailgating" through security checkpoints, and doesn't review the company security software even though it was written by a known criminal.

    A little realism would be nice. Its hard not to want to see the "heroine" go to jail for criminal negligence.

    Read "Flight of the Hornet" first, if you haven't read either. Much better.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria arlington , VA, USA 03-18-06
    Victoria arlington , VA, USA 03-18-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not his best"

    I am a huge Ken Follett fan but this book had too many repetitive character introductions and not enough suspense. For a true Follett fan I would say read it but I think this one could turn off someone who is new to his writing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Marysville, WA, USA 03-22-05
    Donna Marysville, WA, USA 03-22-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Whiteout"

    Poorly narrated
    Not entertaining
    Did not finish listening to it

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon S Shaw 03-19-05 Listener Since 2005
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    "not the usual follett"

    I have read and enjoyed every Ken Follett book written. This is not his best effort. No real suspense, predictible plot/ending, uninteresting characters. Would have expected this book from a less talented author.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Mathias Fredericksburg, VA 03-16-05
    Jeanne Mathias Fredericksburg, VA 03-16-05 Member Since 2004

    Jeanne Irving

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    "Fabulous!"

    Another great Follett book! Follett's characters come alive in all their diversity as they intertwine in this suspenseful novel.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer USA 08-04-09
    Amazon Customer USA 08-04-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dumb"

    A completely unbelievable story, incompetent and ridiculous characters. I won't read another one of his.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hav9 03-17-07
    Hav9 03-17-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Not one of his best"

    I have read a lot of Ken Follett and this is not even close to one of his best. It's entertaining but a bit long and predictable at the end. The narration was good for the most part, but it got boring and I didn't really like the characters that much. The whole family was a little hard to like in my opinion.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary cleveland, NM, USA 06-16-05
    Mary cleveland, NM, USA 06-16-05
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    "The ending shot the scientific premise in the foot"

    I've always enjoyed Follett's books in the past. But until I got to the conclusion of Whiteout, my only frustration was the lead female character's angst with her former boyfriend. This story is about a 100% lethal virus that is transported in a common perfume atomizer after being stolen from a medical research lab. All the perfume atomizers I've ever owned leak at least a little; I would guess they are designed that way to advertise the contents. The main male character is the famous, brilliant scientist who owns the research facility. He and his family are held hostage, many of them bleeding, in the kitchen where the deadly virus containing atomizer sits on the table. The virus thieves sit within two feet of the deadly atomizer. When the great rescue takes place, are these people put in quarantine? Do any of them die of the disease? No, they all walk off into the sunrise on Christmas morning and start mingling with the community. And the scientific premise dies when the "level-4 biohazard" plot is shot in the foot.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margo New Mexico 03-15-10
    Margo New Mexico 03-15-10 Member Since 2002

    Tucked away in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not one of Follett's Best"

    This book just seemed ridiculous in places. The premise had promise, but at times the characters were unbelievable, the events were forced, and I found myself rolling my eyes and getting tired of the whole thing.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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