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Red Tide    by G. M. Ford order for
Red Tide
by G. M. Ford
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

This novel moves at a fast pace one you must pay attention to or you'll get lost. Frank Corso, reclusive best-selling author and rogue journalist (right away I liked him - he marches to his own tune) is attending his best friend's photographic exhibit, when terrorists strike at a bus tunnel in Seattle. The suspense builds, and eventually reaches a crescendo in the unusual locale of a cruise ship.

A deadly virus is blown into the air and kills almost on contact. This first attack is followed by threats of more coming, indicating that further strikes will be even more deadly. A race is on to find the people responsible and prevent deaths that could reach planetary proportions. This is where the author reaches into today's headlines to accost our officials about their policies. Rather like the Michael Moore of fiction, he bemoans the inability of government agencies to work in unison. He berates big business for creating monstrous situations, then backpedaling when it comes to accepting the blame and making restitution.

The author's flannel-mouthed mayor resembles some of our elected dignitaries. Our poor standing in the world's eye is not just a figment of Ford's literary imagination. He has woven a scenario that is pure fiction. But the scary part is that if we as a nation don't smarten up, we could find ourselves reliving his novel in real life. Red Tide is an exciting read, which also provides food for thought.

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