Triggers – Book Review
New book by the author whose work inspired the FlashForward TV series. It shows . . .
by Robert J. Sawyer, Ace Hardcover
It is the near future and the president (white male, Republican – in case you were wondering) of the United States is shot while giving a public speech on a recent spate of major terrorist attacks on American soil by an al-Qaeda offshoot.
The president is rushed to a nearby hospital where surgeons struggle to save his life. However, during the operation a scientific experiment held elsewhere in the hospital to “cure” a traumatized war vet goes awry and suddenly everyone in the vicinity can access someone else’s memories via telepathy.
For Susan Dawson, the Secret Agent responsible for the President’s security, it is a nightmare: it means that there is someone out there who can “read” the President’s mind and knows about a top secret anti-terrorist operation due to launch in several days’ time . . .
Part thriller, part science fiction novel, one can easily see Triggers being made into a miniseries for television or perhaps being retrofitted as an episode of Fringe.
In the same way that director Michael Bay can film a scene in which absolutely nothing happens in a way as if something is actually happening, Sawyer has a knack for writing scenes in which there isn’t a lot of action as if something exciting is actually happening or about to happen.
In that sense Triggers is a great thriller as Sawyer builds up the tension. Or that is, until the book’s resolution when the story veers into more traditional science fiction territory and several of the plot issues are simply jettisoned. The net effect is a bit like Arthur C. Clarke putting the finishing touches on a Tom Clancy page-turner . . .
The novel’s intriguing premise is somewhat let down by its damp squid of an ending, but this slick page-turner is still worth checking out by fans of shows such as Fringe and, yes, FlashForward.