Chain of Events

Chain of Events

A Novel

Book - 2014
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A stunning debut thriller about a code that threatens humanity - and the only man can crack it.

William Sandberg, once a well-respected military cryptologist pursuing cutting-edge research, is a ruined man. His career is in shambles, his marriage is over, and he's succumbed to a dark depression.

But William's talents haven't gone unnoticed. A nameless, top-secret organization abducts him and tasks him with a daunting mission: decode a message that will reveal the disastrous prophecies hidden in our DNA before it is too late.

Meanwhile, William's ex-wife Christina is haunted by his absence and suspects there is more to his disappearance than just the reclusive impulse of a depressed man. Driven by her hunch, she sets out to find him and joins an eclectic cast of characters all drawn to a mysterious chateau in the Alps where the secret organization is plotting something-but is it revenge? Or a rescue mission? What is the organization hiding? What does the code have to do with the potent virus suddenly spreading around the world? And can William uncover the truth before it's too late?

A thrilling novel about humanity on the verge of crisis, taking readers from the streets of Berlin and Stockholm to a chateau in the Alps, Chain of Events explodes and then reconfigures the ties that bind us to one another: marriage, politics, and our DNA.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2014.
Edition: First North American edition.
ISBN: 9780316335003
0316335002
Characteristics: 425 pages ;,25 cm.

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Russ_A
Jul 05, 2016

A retired cryptographer (male) and linguist (female) are kidnapped by a mysterious organization and taken to a remote castle where they are tasked with saving humanity. This sci-fi/medical thriller aspires to be something akin to The Andromeda Strain or The Da Vinci Code, perhaps both. Unfortunately, it falls short on both counts. As a cryptographer I found the whole code thing to be ludicrously portrayed and perhaps that spoiled the whole thing for me. I’d heard it said that you shouldn’t read novels about your own line of work because it will always be unrealistic and disappointing. Maybe. But I’ve also heard that a writer should write about what he knows, and this author obviously knows nothing about code-breaking or DNA, so I’m placing the blame on him, not me.

More than that, though, the author had an extremely irritating habit of bringing the reader up to the brink of some revelation and then leaving the scene and moving on to something else. I’m sure he thought that would heighten suspense. It didn’t, at least not for me. Then, when he finally got around to the big reveal, it turned out to be nothing. In short, it was poorly written formulaic stuff. The author is Swedish and despite his obvious mastery of English, the prose sounds a tad stilted to a native English speaker.

I wouldn’t call the book bad. It provided reading fodder for a few days (although I did have some trouble forcing myself to read it at length). It was just disappointing. The premise had potential.

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