Due Preparations for the Plagueby Janette Turner Hospital
From the author of the critically acclaimed novels Oyster and The Last Magician comes a psychological suspense tale that crystallizes our deepest hopes and fears for the twenty-first century. Lowell, a single father, is haunted by the memory of a hijacked Paris -- New York flight on which his mother was killed when he was a teenager. A stranger, Samantha, has recently begun harassing him with phone calls about information from declassified documents. She is obsessed with learning the whole truth about Air France 64. "I was on that flight. I was six years old. I have a right," she says. "What can be worse than not knowing?" It is the death of Lowell's father, and his legacy of a blue sports bag crammed with documents and videotapes, that finally convinces Lowell to join Samantha's search for a shadowy figure called Salamander, a man she believes was a sinister key figure in the tragedy. Janette Turner Hospital's electrifying new novel is a tightly woven web of familial and national histories, of sexual and political passions, and of individual and national complicities in the age of terrorism. In this murky world of endless aliases and surveillance, who can be trusted? When does the quest for truth become a dangerous obsession? When does the assembling of facts tip into paranoia? And what difference can the truth make? Hospital probes with astonishing acuity the worlds of espionage and intelligence gathering, and the painful meaning of survival.
- HarperCollins Publishers Australia
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.08(w) x 7.83(h) x 1.26(d)
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I would like to say that I read the whole book--which would probably provide a better review, but unfortunately I never finished the book. I found it boring and predictable. The characters did not hold my attention. Other writers of this genre do a much better job.
Due Preparations For The Plague is as genuine piece of art-craft. Janet Turner Hospital is a master of tension and release, integrity to character, and superb prose.
In September 1987, Islamic Fundamentalists hijack Air France Flight 64 demanding the release of ten comrades imprisoned by various countries in return for the lives of the passengers. The terrorists allow the children to disembark in Frankfurt before flying to Iraq where the plane with the passengers inside is blown up. Every year on the anniversary of the hijacking, those now grown up freed children remember and mourn. Lowell Hawthorne lost his mother on that ill-fated flight, but ignores the entreaties of one of the survivors to talk. Samantha, who was six when she lost both parents on Flight 64, believes that the government covered up what really happened. She keeps in touch with other survivors but soon realizes that someone is eliminating them in what looks like a series of accidents. When Lowell¿s father dies, he obtains journals and videotapes that enable he and Samantha to learn the horrific truth about the United States role during Flight 64. They are determined to see that the truth becomes public no matter the danger they may face. Ironically while the heroes struggle to learn the truth, through the use of flashbacks, readers see what happened during the hijacking of Air France Flight 64 and in doing so learn the personal meaning of the term collateral damage. DUE PREPARATIONS FOR THE PLAGUE shows the effects of a severe trauma on those left behind mourning their unexpected loss. By turns a character study and espionage thriller in which Janette Turner Hospital takes her audience on a roller coaster ride that chills the audience with spasms of uncontrolled emotions. Harriet Klausner