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18 April 2010
Review: THE PANIC ZONE, Rick Mofina
Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Mira 416 pages
I read this on my Kindle as an ebook ARC made available by the publishers Harlequin (Mira) through NetGalley.
Gretchen Sutsoff is convinced the world is running out of time. The current rate of population growth is simply unsustainable and will result in the exhaustion of food and water sooner than later. She has also developed a pathological loathing of crowds. She believes science can provide the immediate answer to the problem: the use of synthetic biological agents that will result in population reduction through DNA manipulation.
THE PANIC ZONE is a race against time - for Gretchen to implement her plan, for Emma Lane to find her son Tyler snatched from the car crash that killed her husband, and for investigative journalist Jack Gannon to discover why two colleagues had to die in Rio de Janiero.
The reader is a bystander who sees these threads racing to a collision point. Tight plotting and a constant focus on the possible connections between the threads help build the tension.
The author Rick Mofina says that in crafting THE PANIC ZONE he was inspired in part by the public record and accounts of people subjected to experimentation without their consent. He asks readers to bear in mind "that THE PANIC ZONE is ... a work of fiction drawn in my imagination after reaching into the darkest corners of historical fact". He apologises for any "implausibility in my made-up tale", and while the threads of the main story do at times strain the bounds of credibility (I had a couple of time sequence problems), at the same time THE PANIC ZONE makes engrossing reading.
I particularly liked Mofina's final words to the reader:
Which brings me to you, the reader; the most critical part of the entire enterprise.
Thank you very much for your time, for without you a book remains an untold tale.
My rating. 4.8
Rick Mofina's website
Rick Mofina is a Canadian author whose first book was published in 2000. Look for