Ordinary Thunderstorms

William Boyd is a great writer, and his book Ordinary Thunderstorms (published by Random House) couldn’t be further from the ordinary. It’s exceptional. Adam Kindred is a young climatologist in London for a job interview. It goes really well. He treats himself to a dinner in a local Italian restaurant, strikes up a conversation with another diner, Dr. Philip Wang, and from that moment on, his life is forever altered. To make a long story short… Wang is murdered, Kindred is accused, and his life as he has known it up to now is over. He quickly realizes that no one s going to believe that he didn’t kill him since he was the last person to see him alive and his finger prints are on the murder weapon. So he decides to “disappear” leaving his hotel, career, cell phone, bank account, credit cards, everything needed nowadays to function in this modern world. Only long enough he thinks for the police to find the real murderer. He eventually carves out a completely different life for himself with a new name, a passport, and even a credit card. But he realizes that he can’t live like that forever so he has to find out why Wang was murdered to be able to clear his name. It takes a long time for the various parts of the book to come together… it’s not til beyond the mid point of the book that we even find out why he was murdered. It’s a complex story that deals with the pharmaceutical industry, and above all greed. My only criticism is that we’re left wondering some things at the end. But all in all, it’s fascinating, extremely well written, and a real page turner. I’m now on a William Boyd kick but I’ve discovered that most of his other books, except Restless which I’ve already read, are not available. Too bad, wish I’d discovered him sooner.

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