China is book one of The Flense quadrilogy, an international technothriller from the bestselling author of <>Gameland.
Hundreds die in a fiery train crash in northern China. A cargo ship smuggling refugees is lost to calm seas off the Libyan coast. Entire villages in Ghana are abandoned overnight.
Contracted by an apocalypse prepper group to investigate a series of seemingly disconnected global tragedies, a young medical investigative reporter, Angelique de l'Enfantine, uncovers a disturbing pattern to the tragedies. Are they harbingers of an impending biblical catastrophe? Or practice runs by a fanatical organization bent on global annihilation?
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Chasing theories down rabbit holes
An island, known as an international tourist resort, is devastated by an 8.3 earthquake followed by a gigantic tsunami. Yet it is not reported anywhere, nor is there any attempted recovery. Following just a rumour, a journalist and a photographer arrive three weeks later to see what had happened. And so, for Angelique, begins a nightmare she had never foreseen.
Saul Tanpeppers writing is easy to read and the story flows freely between people and places. It tells a fascinating mystery with underlying horror: conspiracy and double dealing: something is terribly wrong, something hidden or disguised. And there are people determined to prevent their discovery.
The characterisations are very good and the descriptions vividly visual, the strangely eery introductory chapter immediately grabbing the reader's attention. This audio version is read by Doug Greene, whose pleasant to hear voice has a depth perfectly suited to the book. His text narration is well modulated and paced, not too fast but still brisk enough to carry the story forcefully forward. His is much more of a reading than a performance, with little attempt to give individual voicings to the protagonists, but their conversations are fluently read and it is always obvious who it is that is speaking.
This is a book to delight and excite all who enjoy a good conspiracy mystery and action story as well as a glimpse into the greed and sometime madness of scientific development. I hope that the other Flense books follow soon in audio format. Meanwhile, I'm off to read the next one on ebook.
An unusual and excellent read.
- Norma Miles