Chain of Events by Fredrik T. Olsson
William Sandberg, once a well-respected military cryptologist pursuing cutting-edge research, is a ruined man. His career is in shambles, his marriage is over, and he’s succumbed to a dark depression.
But William’s talents haven’t gone unnoticed. A nameless, top-secret organization abducts him and tasks him with a daunting mission: decode a message that will reveal the disastrous prophecies hidden in our DNA before it is too late.
Meanwhile, William’s ex-wife Christina is haunted by his absence and suspects there is more to his disappearance than just the reclusive impulse of a depressed man. Driven by her hunch, she sets out to find him and joins an eclectic cast of characters all drawn to a mysterious chateau in the Alps where the secret organization is plotting something-but is it revenge? Or a rescue mission? What is the organization hiding? What does the code have to do with the potent virus suddenly spreading around the world? And can William uncover the truth before it’s too late?
A thrilling novel about humanity on the verge of crisis, taking readers from the streets of Berlin and Stockholm to a chateau in the Alps, Chain of Events explodes and then reconfigures the ties that bind us to one another: marriage, politics, and our DNA.
This novel starts out steadily enough and based in a place in reality we can all connect with, written in language we can all understand, with characters who are believable and sympathetic.
A small flat. A man. A woman. A phone call. The man waking. The woman unable to find the man and worrying.
You’re OK so far right?
From here on in you need to leave your disbelief at the door. In fact don’t just leave it at the door, nail it to your next-door-but-one neighbour’s wall. Because from here things get quirky and a little difficult to follow in the explanation, which isn’t helped by the fact that the organisation that has taken William Sanberg isn’t giving him the whole truth, so in turn, we are only getting snippets. And bizarre snippets at that. I’m not easily confused when I’m reading, but the plot of this book, did get a little wrapped around my head somewhat. Specifically the part about the code in our DNA and the who, what and why etc. and resulting following actions and reactions.
After that there are the typical thrillerish scenario’s which you can easily follow and are a great read and will keep you turning the pages. I like the way Olsson gets to a point in his narration then stops and switches point of view. It not only gave you a rounded 360 degree view of the scene that is being described but it amped up the thrillerish tension. This was a clear nod to his screenwriting abilities because some scenes really did read that way. Very cinematic and heart-stopping.
Towards the end of the book though, I did get a bit bogged down and lost in the complexities of what the plot again, the if’s, how’s and why’s of the prophecy element (again) and then at the end I had to ask myself what the point had been. But I’d enjoyed the ride. I am generally interested in DNA type or prophecy thrillers of this kind, but was confused by the mixing up of who did what and it’s difficult to get my point across without spoilers. Lets just say, I am a Dan Brown fan, does that make it simple. But you need to make it clear who is doing what and why. I didn’t think this was that clear. Other reviewers may disagree.
An interesting thriller, you need to read while awake not falling asleep (at least not the parts involving the DNA explanations) to read. I like the authors voice and would read something by Olsson again.
With thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my copy.