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The Bones of Paris: A Novel of Suspense
Laurie R. King

Exposed (Maggie O'Dell Novels)

Exposed - Alex Kava When O'Dell and Cunningham receive a coded threat, they expect a bomb has been planted in a suburban neighbourhood. The truth however is even more frightening when they find a seriously ill woman and are exposed to a deadly virus nicknamed 'the slate wiper'. O'Dell finds herself locked away in isolation whilst a calculating killer goes about setting off an epidemic. Will O'Dell figure out who the killer is in time to prevent a crisis? Exposed had the potential to be an outstanding example of a mainstream medical-thriller, indeed the premise is a intreging one. Unfortunately the execution of the novel did not live up to its promise, leading to a rather mediocre example of the genre. The book starts well, with the reader thrown straight into the action with the description of Waheem, followed quickly by O'Dell's and Cunningham's grisly discovery, but the plot quickly falls away after that, with the focus bizarrely being put on the minutiae of the character's lives rather than on advancing the plot. To be quite honest I was bored, with the gaps between plot advancement long enough to allow you to forgot the last major event. This wasn't helped by the plethora of characters involved, nor by the hints of back story that were not fully explained, making this a frustrating book for those who have not read the earlier books in the series. The plot wasn't all bad, and a points I found myself eagerly awaiting the next page, regrettably these moments were few and fair between, and at the end you feel as though nothing has really developed since around Chapter 11. On a more positive note Kava's research is clearly evidenced by the detailed, accurate information on the disease and USARMID. Anyone who has read Richard Preston's The Hot Zone in particular will recognise snippets of that book throughout Exposed, although at times perhaps too obviously for my liking. In any case, medical/science geeks will definitely not be rolling their eyes at this novel. Overall this is a weak example of both the genre and Kava's writing. The lack of pace, poor plot development and almost constant flipping back and forwards between a large cast of characters, made it more of a chore than an pleasure to read. Possibly one for fan's of the series, for whom the focus on character relationship will be more appreciated, but it doesn't work as a stand-alone story for me. This is a real shame as the premise was interesting and promised to be a exhilarating read.