Book Review: Whiteout by Ken Follett

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 is 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.

I feel like I owe Ken Follett an apology.  Those of you who know me know that he is my favorite author.  Whenever I need a guaranteed excellent book, I turn to Ken Follett.  I have read and loved five of his books now (that's saying a lot considering two of them were 975+ pages) and plan to read all of his work.  In short, I love all things Ken Follett.

I was in the midst of a reading and blogging slump last month when I decided Ken Follett was the only thing that would help me recover.  I dowloaded Whiteout on my Nook and burned through it in two days.  Well, I was still so out of sorts due to illness and my reading/blogging slump that I completely forgot to write a review!  That is something I've never done, and to have forgotten to review a book by my favorite author is especially embarrassing! 

Anyway, on to Whiteout.  Better late than never, I guess.  This is a present-day thriller set in Scotland.  It centers around a pharmaceutical research company: the director, security team, and the director's family members.  Follett sets up his characters in the beginning, and somehow made me care about all of them, even the bad guys.  I think that is the mark of a great author---he develops his characters so well that you seek out the redeeming value in all of them, no matter how evil they are.

Whiteout is a very fast-paced read, with all of the action occurring over a couple of days: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  There is a nice epilogue at the end, which moves us forward in time about one year.  The story ended how I wanted it to---something that is not a guarantee with Ken Follett, so when it does happen it's just an added bonus.

I would recommend Whiteout to fans of the thriller genre, and to anyone looking for an engrossing read.

Just One Gripe: 
You better get your blankets out before you read this one, because the characters are out in a blizzard for a good part of the book, and I got cold reading about it!

The Best Thing About This Book: 
The character development.

Appropriate for a younger audience: 
Strangely, yes.

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Setting/Imagery: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Ending: 5/5
Total Score: 25/25


  1. I do love me some thrillers! Usually I'm wary when I start them though, but I trust your recommendation. Great review! :)

  2. Ken will forgive you for your transgression.

    And burrrr thanks for the heads up about the cold. Great review and will note this one to read.. actually I think it may be on my shelf already... arghhh another one to get to... Scary when you buy more books that you can remember...

    On a slightly other note. I GOT UNWIND! Yes! So will be reading this in Oct and placed it on my Mailbox for tomorrow. Very excited :)

  3. Oops I actually already posted it last week! You see again.. there goes my brain.. I get so carried away and confuse everything. So UNWIND is next :)

  4. Thanks for posting this, my husband is a big Follett, but I don't think he's read this one. I'm going to score bonus points for sure, so thanks :P

  5. There's a movie by this name. I wonder if they're connected.

    Isn't it great when you can rely on a writer to save your mood?


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