The Tower

Simon Toyne, Author
Simon Toyne. Morrow, $25.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-222590-0
Reviewed on: 07/22/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
Federal agents probe a computer attack on the Hubble telescope, ostensibly the work of a religious cult, in this anxiety-inducing final addition to a trilogy by Toyne (Sanctus, The Key). The salty FBI veteran Franklin teams with recruit Shepherd, a Cambridge-educated cosmologist, to stay ahead of an enigmatic countdown, track missing scientists, and contend with a creepy duo of assassins guided by "the Archangel". Meanwhile, global civilization halts as everyone rushes home, submitting to a strange emotion—"like that feeling you get when you're running late," in Shepherd's chilling phrase. It's all linked to the outbreak, eight months earlier, of a lethal affliction known as "the blight." Originating from the Citadel, a religious cloister in a fictional Turkish city,, the disease separates journalist Liv Adamsen from her love Gabriel Mann. As they seek to reunite, a religious prophecy may lead everyone to the end of days. Toyne's descriptive skill makes for a story that is cinematically vivid. With many characters separated by time and space, the plot takes a while to cohere, but the relentless pace makes the action addicting. (June)
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