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
"[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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another great Follett book! Follett's characters come alive in all their diversity as they intertwine in this suspenseful novel.
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.
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.
Tucked away in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.
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.
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