Tomorrow should be the greatest day of Erica Stroud-Jones’ life. In just twenty four hours this brilliant young scientist will present her secret work to a conference in Amsterdam – research that promises to revolutionize the battle against a deadly tropical disease. Millions of lives could be saved. Arriving to watch her are skeptics and rivals, admirers and enemies. Erica’s own eyes will be on sculptor Max Carver, her new love to whom she will dedicate her achievement. Tomorrow never comes. Erica vanishes during the night…
I was pulled into this from the first few pages, intrigued as to what could be so dangerous but clearly so innocuous as to be on a plane in the first place. However, I quickly became confused as to what was going on. There were so many characters and I was not always sure how they fitted in. Having said that I was sufficiently intrigued enough to keep reading and things start to make sense as you move through the book.
While Erica is the main female character, we do not get to see much of her in the present. Her disappearance is told entirely from Max’s point of view and what we learn about Erica, we learn from flashbacks using her journal from her days in Africa. It seems clear this must be linked to her disappearance but I have to confess it took me ages to put it together – always good if you have to keep reading to find out the answers! The journal diaries from Africa were fascinating, interesting and very vivid, I was almost annoyed when we kept switching back to present day.
Max may have only known Erica for a short time but he is determined to find her, convinced she has been abducted and the reason is linked to her secret paper. We are left wondering most of the way through exactly what was in her paper and I was dying to know. Thankfully we do get to find out eventually never fear. I found Max a difficult character to get on with and I’m not sure his background would have enabled him to turn into the James Bond style superman he seemed to become. I don’t know how he was still standing at one point let alone running. He has to contend with organised crime, corrupt police and professional thieves in order to find out what happened to Erica. I admire his determination and persistence.
The premise of this story is frightening because you could actually see it happening, and all because of a throwaway comment made by a greedy pharmaceutical boss. There were lots of interesting facts about malaria and mosquitoes and you cannot help but have sympathy with the plight of those people.
Overall this is a thriller with a frighteningly real sounding premise and while I got confused, everything does come clear and make sense in the end – it seemed to get quite James Bond for a while which is not really my style of book but that doesn’t make it bad just not my ideal. There are very real moral and ethical issues running throughout this and you have to look inside yourself to think whose side are you actually on.
If you like clever action thrillers you will probably love this.