And Then You Die
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Paperback, Bantam Books, 1998, ISBN # 0553579983
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Photojournalist Bess Grady's long-awaited vacation in Tenajo, Mexico, turns deadly when terrorists target the small town with a secret experiment that leaves its inhabitants dead and transforms Bess into an unwitting witness who is the only one who can st Publishers Weekly,An American photojournalist finds herself the unwitting pawn of a terrorist scheme in this workaday thriller from Johansen (Long After Midnight), which pits the CIA and the Centers for Disease Control against a nefarious mastermind with a talent for ingeniously disguised germ warfare. Caught in a Mexican village during a mysterious, deadly epidemic, Bess Grady miraculously survives andafter she runs afoul of the local authoritiesfinds an unlikely ally in a hit man with the alias "Kaldak." Johansen weaves tidbits from the last few years' headlines (the latest HIV research, the Ebola virus, Saddam Hussein, the Balkan war) into a suspenseful, if preposterous, plot full of murders, narrow escapes, chases and explosions. Unfortunately, she doesn't bother with local color. Mexico, New Orleans, Wyoming, Atlanta and North Carolina all look and sound more or less the same. Worse, Johansen never fleshes out her intriguing main characters, whose uninspired dialogue"This is most unfortunate. It could cause complications"and trite narrative"Underneath that harsh exterior, he was very human after all"undermine what might have been a page-turner. Major ad/promo. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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