Phase Six

Jim Shepard. Knopf, $25.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-525-65545-9
In this disappointing apocalyptic thriller from Shepard (The Book of Aron), a pandemic—exponentially more lethal than Covid-19—originates in a remote Greenland village and spreads worldwide, infecting millions within weeks. Eleven-year old Aleq, one of the only survivors of the initial outbreak, may hold the key to finding a way to stop the seemingly uncontainable contagion. The CDC tasks two investigators, epidemiologist Jeannie Dziri and lab wonk Danice Torrone, to inspect the decimated village in hopes of finding clues to head off a looming global disaster. While Dziri tries to find insights in the emotionally battered boy’s memories, Torrone crunches data in a race against time as more people become sick and die horrific deaths. The author has clearly done some impressive research into infectious diseases, but some readers may have a visceral reaction—not so much because of the heartbreaking similarities to the coronavirus and the millions who have died because of it, but because of the plot’s predictability and the lack of an ending. Shepard has done better. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/02/2021
Release date: 05/18/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-525-65546-6
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-593-41447-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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