Jealousies, distrust, and hidden rivalries uncover dark secrets, then a dozen vials of a deadly virus go missing. As a blizzard whips out of the north on Christmas Eve, several people converge on a remote family house. Stanley Oxenford, director of a pharmaceutical research company, has everything riding on a drug he is developing to fight a ...
Jealousies, distrust, and hidden rivalries uncover dark secrets, then a dozen vials of a deadly virus go missing. As a blizzard whips out of the north on Christmas Eve, several people converge on a remote family house. Stanley Oxenford, director of a pharmaceutical research company, has everything riding on a drug he is developing to fight a lethal virus. Several others are interested in his success too: his children, at home for Christmas with their offspring, have their eyes on the money he will make; Toni Gallo, head of his security team and recently forced to resign from the police, is betting her career on keeping it safe; an ambitious local television reporter sniffs a story, even if he has to bend the facts to tell it; and a violent trio of thugs are on their way to steal it, with a client already waiting. As the storm worsens and the group is laid under siege by the elements, the emotional sparks crackle and dark secrets are revealed that threaten to drive Stanley and his family apart for ever. Filled with startling twists, "Whiteout" is the ultimate knife-edge drama from an international bestselling author who is in a class by himself. 'Few writers can come up with the thrills more effectively than Ken Follett' - "Guardian". 'A new breed of thriller...Follett drags readers to the very edge of their seats and holds them captive until the very last villain is satisfactorily dispatched' - "Publishers weekly."
Publishers Weekly, 2005-01-03 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2004-11-15 Bestseller Follett sets his sights on biological terrorism, pumping old-school adrenaline into this new breed of thriller. Ex-policewoman Antonia "Toni" Gallo, head of security at a boutique pharmaceuticals company, has discovered that two doses of an experimental drug-developed as a potential cure for the deadly Madoba-2 virus-have vanished from her top-secret laboratory. This mystery is a precursor to a more serious crime being planned by Kit Oxenford, the gambling-addicted son of the company's founder, Stanley Oxenford. Kit, deeply in debt to mobster Harry Mac, sees a raid on his father's lab as a chance to score enough money to disappear and start anew in another country. Some characters are a bit familiar-the pesky, unprincipled journalist; the imbecilic police detective-but others, the mobster's psychopathic daughter in particular, show idiosyncratic originality. After a long buildup, the burglary is set in motion, and Kit's best-laid plans begin to fall apart. Eventually, good guys and bad guys end up at the Oxenford family estate, trapped in the house by a fierce snowstorm as they battle one another over the material stolen from the laboratory. A romance between the recently widowed Stanley and Toni and the unexpected addition of Toni's comically addled mother thicken the plot as Follett's agonizingly protracted, nail-biter ending drags readers to the very edge of their seats and holds them captive until the last villain is satisfactorily dispatched. Agents, Al Zuckerman and Amy Berkower at Writers House. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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