BY WILLIAM BOYD
One May evening in London, Adam Kindred, a young climatologist in town for a job interview, is feeling good about the future as he sits down for a meal at a little Italian bistro. He strikes up a conversation with a solitary diner at the next table, who leaves soon afterward. With horrifying speed, this chance encounter leads to a series of malign accidents, through which Adam loses everything—home, family, friends, job, reputation, passport, credit cards, cell phone—never to get them back.
The police are searching for him. There is a reward for his capture. A hired killer is stalking him. He is alone and anonymous in a huge, pitiless modern city. Adam has nowhere to go but down—underground. He decides to join that vast army of the disappeared and the missing who throng London’s lowest levels as he tries to figure out what to do with his life and struggles to understand the forces that have made it unravel so spectacularly. Adam's quest will take him all along the river Thames, from affluent Chelsea to the gritty East End, and on the way he will encounter all manner of London's denizens—aristocrats, prostitutes, evangelists, and policewomen—and version after new version of himself.
Ordinary Thunderstorms, William Boyd's electric follow-up to his award-winning Restless, is a profound and gripping novel about the fragility of social identity, the corruption at the heart of big business, and the secrets that lie hidden in the filthy underbelly of every city.
William Boyd is the author of ten novels, including A Good Man in Africa, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Award; An Ice-Cream War, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; Any Human Heart, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet; and Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year.
Born in Accra, Ghana, in 1952, Boyd grew up there and in Nigeria. He was educated at Gordonstoun School and attended the universities of Nice (Diploma of French Studies) and Glasgow (M.A.Hons in English and Philosophy) and Jesus College, Oxford, where he studied for a D.Phil in English Literature. He was also a lecturer in English Literature at St. Hilda's College, Oxford, from 1980-83. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has been presented with honorary Doctorates in Literature from the universities of St. Andrews, Stirling, Glasgow and Dundee. In 2005 he was awarded the CBE.
His screenwriting credits include Stars and Bars (1987, dir. Pat O'Connor), Mr Johnson (1990, dir. Bruce Beresford), Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (1990, dir. Jon Amiel), Chaplin (1992, dir. Richard Attenborough) A Good Man in Africa (1993, dir. Bruce Beresford), The Trench (1999, which Boyd also directed) and Man to Man (2005, dir. Régis Wargnier). He adapted Evelyn Waugh's Scoop for television (1988) and also Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy (2001). His own three-part adaptation of his novel Armadillo was screened on BBC 1 in 2001 and on A&E in the US in 2002. His film about Shakespeare and his sonnets — A Waste of Shame -- was made in 2005 for BBC 4. He has written two original TV films about boarding-school life in England -- Good and Bad at Games (1983) and Dutch Girls (1985).He is married and divides his time between London and South West France. Author photograph © Eamonn McCabe
Adam Kindred, a climatologist, in London on business, when from an act of kindness in returning something left behind by a stranger, finds himself suddenly involved in a criminal manhunt…and he is the criminal. Having done nothing wrong, he hides out thinking the police will find the criminal and he will be free to go. Unfortunately, the next day he is a wanted man. What ensues is a result of the item Adam was trying to return…a simple folder. Adam opens it to find the man, a doctor, was involved in a big money deal with a drug company and so now not only are the authorities after him but also the people involved in the pharmaceutical deal.
Because there is obviously a lot of money to be made or lost, this isn’t going away. Adam hides for weeks that turn into months. Finally, he decides he has to leave the underground seedy way of life and clear his name. He decides he can’t take this anymore and must strike back. …but how and with what? All he wants is his life back. What should he do? What would YOU do?
Much of this book is action packed but also a bit unrealistic to me. It is rather far fetched but for the most part, I must say, it holds your attention. There are plot twists and an ending that will satisfy most. I just think it was a little too much action for me along with too much I didn’t know. I felt like I was at the movies where I am always asking my husband “Why did he do that?” or “What was that for?”. If this action packed thriller is your cup of tea then this is the book you want to win. For myself, it was a little too far out there and if I had it to do over again…sorry Mr. Boyd, I would have saved my time for something more suitable for my likes.
THANKS TO SHAWN AND THE GOOD PEOPLE
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE FIVE COPIES OF THIS EXCITING
BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT
YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE
TO COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!
IS 6 PM, EST, MARCH 29