VIRAL

Written by James Lilliefors

Review written by Adam Colclough

Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.


VIRAL
Soho Press
RRP: £17.99
Released: 24th May 2012
Hbk

A deadly virus strikes in a remote part of Africa, sweeping through villages and shanty towns killing thousands of people in a single night. On the other side of the world a three word message left in a safe-deposit box alerts former CIA operative Charles Mallory to carry out a ‘humane depopulation’ of the third world with links to the highest levels of government. Working with his journalist brother Jon Mallory must race against time to halt their plans.

Viral is an original and at times chillingly convincing thriller, even though you may have read a dozen novels involving conspiracies, diseases that could wipe out humanity and government officials going rogue; you will never have read one quite like this.

One that examines quite so unflinchingly the mixture of exploitation and paternalism to be found in Western attitudes towards Africa or is quite so ambiguous about which is the worst of the two evils. James Lilliefors spares his readers none of the details of the grindingly brutal treatment received by people in the third world, making some scenes in this book deeply unsettling.

The author is, perhaps, a little naïve in his assessment of how far a journalist of newspaper editor could go in exposing the conspiracy, the owners of large media corporations have a long history of turning a blind eye to governmental chicanery to protect their profits and privileged access, but that is only a minor criticism. Otherwise this is a well constructed and frequently unsettling book that uses the mechanics of a thriller to make its readers think about issues and attitudes that have been only partially exaggerated for literary effect.

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