Posted by Justine Solomons on 16 October 2011, in Recommendations
Ordinary Thunderstorms – William Boyd
US resident, but British born, climatologist, Adam Kindred comes over to London for a job interview after splitting up with his wife. After the interview he witnesses the murder of Philip Wang, a scientist employed by a major drug company to research a new cure for asthma. The contracted killer, Jonjo manages to make the evidence point to Adam, so the police start going after the climatologist, while Jonjo begins his hunt for Adam who has managed to acquire an incriminating piece of evidence against the drug company. Rather than turning himself in, Adam goes AWOL, initially living rough on a disused piece of land by the river but then slowly engineering a new identity and blue collar life. He is also pursued by the police, including another recent singleton Rita Nashe a new recruit to the river police.
I loved William Boyd’s Any Human Heart, which made the disappointment of Ordinary Thunderstorms even greater. The depiction of London especially around the newly erected Shard is interesting, the church of John Christ, where Adam attends a soup kitchen was a nice comic touch and Boyd writes well, but on the whole the book was formulaic. It would have been far easier and more sensible if Adam had turned himself in straight after the murder, but then perhaps he didn’t want to go back to his old life, or wanted the excitement of going into hiding. I really didn’t buy that he was going on the run because he was genuinely afraid of being wrongly accused. It felt much more like a plot device and an excuse for a pretty dull thriller. Everything that you expect will happen at the end happens, and the possibility of reveal between Rita and Adam as their lives become more intwined almost completely ignored. Disappointing for so many reasons.
To buy this book click on the following link: Ordinary Thunderstorms
to buy 'Any Human Heart" click on this link: Any Human Heart