STATE OF FEAR
Michael Crichton

 


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Harper Collins 2004
Reviewed by Karen McNamee

Bizarre scenes are playing out covertly all over the world.  Powerful equipment capable of sending devastating shock waves deep into the earth has been purchased clandestinely and shipped to remote locations.  Vast quantities of explosive components have been procured.  Select individuals are being murdered in bizarre fashion.  The question is, what ties all these incidents together?  One thing is clear . something big is looming on the horizon, and someone is watching.

Against that backdrop we meet environmentalist and billionaire George Morton, who is poised to donate ten million dollars to a prominent environmental organization. Just before he signs the check over he learns that monies which he had previously donated have disappeared. His suspicions set in motion an effort to uncover the truth and reveal a shocking reality.

Peter Evans is a young lawyer who helps manage George Morton's financial contributions. Peter's comfortable world is turned upside down when he becomes entangled in a series of nightmarish adventures, while in the company of feisty and beautiful Sarah Jones, Morton's assistant. Peter and Sarah, at Morton's directive, find themselves jetting all over the planet with two special agents who are on a treacherous mission to seek out and stop eco-terrorism before it occurs. They have been tracking a group of environmental radicals who will stop at nothing to further their cause. In fact, death and chaos only serve to promote their agenda. From the willful misrepresentation of scientific data to the manufacture of natural disasters, these disciples of global warming believe the end justifies the means.

The state of fear in this book title refers to the popular notion that our planet is facing a global environmental catastrophe. Author Michael Crichton gives examples of similar states of fear used throughout human history to control and manipulate populations and promote various agendas. Theoretically the more fearful people are the more compliant they become. The story focuses on the powerful forces at work behind the global warming initiative, revealing that not all of them are altruistic.

STATE OF FEAR is nearly 600 pages long. The plotting was slow to take shape, making the first third of the book confusing at best, but eventually there was clarity and I found I couldn't put it down. Crichton's inclusion of actual scientific data was very compelling. Through that vehicle he encourages readers to be objective on the issues surrounding global warming. Be prepared to shelve many of your pre-conceived notions about global warming if you decide to read this book.

Michael Crichton is an acclaimed author of an incredible list of best sellers, most notably JURASSIC PARK. It may come as a surprise to many that he also graduated summa cum laude from Harvard and received his MD from Harvard Medical School. He is a brilliant man with an impressive background in science, so he's not to be dismissed as just another author of fiction.

October 2008

 

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