I realized his sculptures describe the character of the physical world more eloquently than any chemist or physicist. He said it best: ‘You torture the metal to get it to show you its soul.’
Having enjoyed Nick Louth’s The Body in the Marsh so much, I immediately bought his first novel, Bite. As a thriller, Bite is different from The Body…, but it’s extremely successful in its own way.
On a transatlantic flight, a mysterious man sets some mosquitoes loose in the First Class section, which is filled with officers of a large, ruthless pharmaceutical company. Shortly after the plane unloads in Amsterdam, where the pharma people are planning to attend an international conference, people start coming down with a never-before-seen strain of malaria. This strain doesn’t respond to available treatments, and seems to thrive in a northern climate.
Meanwhile, Max Carver, an American sculptor with military experience, arrives in Amsterdam on the same plane, along with his girlfriend, Dr. Erica Stroud-Jones. He will be having a big gallery show in the city, while she will be delivering a paper at the pharma conference – explaining her discovery, a revolutionary approach to treating malaria.
But on the day she’s supposed to address the conference, Erica disappears. The police immediately suspect Max of murdering her, and it’s only with the help of a shadowy group of American agents that he gets out on bail. He sets out to find her, and enters a dangerous world of criminals, spies, and professional killers. He will test the very limits of his courage and endurance in the process.
Meanwhile, extracts from an old journal of Erica’s tell the story of a time in her earlier life when she was a hostage in Africa, and plumbed the depths of suffering and despair.
As I read, I compared Bite to a summer action movie. It has the same quality of being exciting to follow, but being fairly implausible when objectively considered. But it was as exciting as advertised, and I could hardly put it down. The characters were fascinating, too.
Cautions for language and mature situations, including rape and torture. There were some references to the Bible and Christianity, and they were fairly positive. Opportunities for leftist propagandizing were generally avoided. Recommended, for adults.