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Red Tide

Author: G. M. Ford
Genre: Thriller
Reviewed by: Kevin Tipple

12210402Frank Corso isn't comfortable out in public attending social events but that is exactly what he is doing as this recent release opens. He is attending a showing and sale of his friend Meg Dougherty's photographic work at the Cecil Taylor Gallery in Seattle. Though surrounded by people, Frank Corso stands out and she knows he isn't happy.

"Dougherty heaved another sigh. 'I shouldn't have badgered him into coming,' she said. "He hates this kind of thing." (Page 10)

The showing is going well and should be a success and vindication of a lifetime of work until it is interrupted by the police who order a mandatory evacuation for unspecified reasons. They won't say why and as Frank and Meg walk the area towards a fleet of busses waiting to take evacuees away, it becomes clear that something very bad has happened. Frank, never known for being able to leave things alone, can't this time and sends an annoyed Meg on her way home in a cab, before going literally underground in downtown Seattle to find out what is going on. Before long, he finds himself undercover in a hazmat suit looking at a scene of carnage and death in the wake of the release of an airborne weapon of mass destruction. Terrorists have struck again, this time in Seattle, and this attack is the first of several planned on the city as a group of experts meet for an international symposium on chemical and biological weapons.

Meanwhile, across town, Meg goes to her home angry about the show, Frank, and life in general, only to find the man who disfigured her years ago loitering by the door of her home/studio. He leaves and she urges the cabby to follow his car because with the police tied up with whatever the emergency is, as well as how they treated her in the past, she knows she won't get any help. She has dreamed of this day for years and now with him in her sights, she isn't about to back down for a second.

G. M. Ford quickly weaves both compelling storylines together in this gripping read. As Frank and Meg both pursue the terrorists across the city with the aid of local law enforcement, the rift that has been growing between them over the last couple of novels in this series begins to widen. Frank is as reclusive as ever, despite being thrust into the limelight, and Meg is growing weary of her life and Frank's hard-nosed ways. But beyond all that, the author creates a gripping tale along with some very relevant social commentary about the specter of terrorism and our ability to defend the country and ourselves. Not only is this novel worth reading because it is a well written and suspenseful mystery, Red Tide is worth reading for his very astute political observations about freedom in America and the reality of our modern world.

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December 21, 2004 in Thriller | Permalink

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