P J's Reviews > Ordinary Thunderstorms

Ordinary Thunderstorms by William  Boyd
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M 50x66
's review
Sep 21, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in February, 2010

I like thrillers, but there’s usually a reservation. The plot needs to be not just too improbable and people have to behave in a way that people actually do. This is a good plot – nasty pharmaceutical company up to no good and mainly after making loads of money come whatever. Well, I’m certainly up for believing in this.
The less plausible element is the behaviour of the hero in Ordinary Thunderstorms, a young academic climatologist who is sufficiently disorientated by a simple error that he ends up living rough and penniless on the streets of London. There is just no satisfactory explanation for someone doing this.
There are other irritants, not least that a book called Ordinary Thunderstorms with a climatologist as hero has no reference to the climate (OK, I know, why should it? – but..) and that having contrived his dropping out to live rough the book clearly has no idea of what this might actually entail.
It’s still quite fun though, and the evil pharmaceutical empire as enemy is persuasive enough to engage us liberals on the side of the hero and his river police girlfriend. And of course there’s the real baddy – a special forces trained killer. Not totally worthless but no need to go out of your way.

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