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
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Master novelist Ken Follett applies his trademark tension to this close-quarters thriller set during a blizzard-stricken Scottish Christmas. When a killer virus is stolen from a lab, greedy criminals descend on the snowed-in extended family of pharmaceutical mogul Stanley Oxenford. But bioterrorism is just one of many dangers, thanks to a cast of well-drawn characters navigating true-to-life conflict under extreme circumstances. There’s even the possibility of romance between the widowed Oxenford and embattled ex-cop Toni Gallo, who faces family drama of her own. Follett never lets us take our eyes off the clock, each hour (or less) ticking away as a lightning-paced new chapter begins.
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.
Slow start, good in the end.
It took me about half the book to really get into the story and was beginning to think this was a rare Follett dud! It certainly got going though and could hardly put it down from that point. Pretty good, though far from Follett’s best.
I very much enjoyed reading this book, plenty of suspense, twists and surprises. Highly recommended.
The worst book I have ever read. The first 40 pages are captivating, then utter garbage for over 200 pages, if I wanted a book about family life I would have bought one!