Author: David Koepp
Publisher: Ecco Books
Format: Paperback, 308 pages
Back Cover Blurb
When Pentagon bio-terror operative Roberto Diaz was sent to investigate a suspected biochemical attack, he found something far worse: a highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction. He contained it and buried it in cold storage deep beneath a little-used military repository.
Now, after decades of festering in a forgotten sub-basement, the specimen has found its way out and is on a lethal feeding frenzy. Only Diaz knows how to stop it.
He races across the country to help two unwitting security guards—one an ex-con, the other a single mother. Over one harrowing night, the unlikely trio must figure out how to quarantine this horror again. All they have is luck, fearlessness, and a mordant sense of humour. Will that be enough to save all of humanity?
What I Thought
COLD STORAGE is an incredibly fast read, not just because it’s only 308 pages long, but because it’s that kind of a story. A book you simply cannot put down. I read this in a day. Yes, seven hours on a Sunday, from beginning to end. I really didn’t want to stop as there was too much at stake. Yes, I know, it’s not real, but the science in COLD STORAGE, along with the excellently researched background to the alphabet soup government departments and processes, were spot on.
The context for this story, a mutated, fast breeding ELE fungus capable of eradicating all life, as we know it, on this fair green earth, is so plausible as to scary the bejesus out of me! Based on reality, and stretched to the what-if point like any good author should, Koepp takes the reader on a wild, scary ride. But then, tempers the real-life horror with two flawed, familiar, and sympathetic characters—Teacake and Naomi—that you are immediately drawn too and root for.
All the fingernail biting tension is further tempered with plenty of dry humour including the line that I think COLD STORAGE is going to be most remembered for: “The fucking deer just took the fucking elevator.” Uttered by the astonished Teacake (great name btw) who was a character I took an instant liking too.
While it’s true Diaz and his partner, and senior officer, Trini Romano, get an opener to the book that will blow your socks off (and, might I suggest, not be read before bedtime! Trust me.) It’s Teacake and Naomi who, for the most part, carry the weight of the story. It’s the investment into their two lives that make us care, care about what happens, and adds the heart to what could be an otherwise chilling read.
Over all, this is a riotous read. Suspend your disbelief at the first page, jump in with macabre glee, after all this is fiction, and have a fun, frightening, all to plausible ride on the horror-tinged train.