The Culling by Robert Johnson is a classic example of the disaster that can occur if a steady and reliable publishing house steps outside the area of its expertise. The Permanent Press is one of the very best small publishers. It specializes in mysteries and thrillers, and has an enviable track record in picking winners. Unfortunately, it was tempted into buying a near-future medical thriller. The core plot has been done to death in all forms of media.
If you start off with unoriginal and derivative ideas on weaponizing viruses, the only way in which you can save the book is by delivering a high-class adventure or thriller gloss over the scientific struggle to contain the pandemic. Unfortunately, despite convincing medical detail and some interesting arguments about the need to reduce the global population, the book is full of second-rate tropes. There’s a shootout in a jungle with bullets flying, explosions, and fires burning but no one important is hurt. Our hero can escape a quarantine, just happen to find the pilot who flew the conspirators to recover the original virus, survives being transported in a box, escapes from a sealed facility, and so on. It’s threadbare!
|Page Count||326 pages|
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|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|