4 out of 4 stars
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Disorder is a psychological techno-thriller by Johan Fundin. Cat Milton is a multi-millionaire supermodel being stalked by a strange man who visits her home during the night. She is on medication for narcolepsy, a medical condition causing her to fall asleep at odd times during the day. Cat's twin sister, Janice, is overweight and disfigured. Filled with self-loathing, Janice considers herself an ugly, unloveable monster. Beautiful London-based Cat, meanwhile, dates handsome English soccer star Roy Beckman. Cat and Janice's father, Victor, works for BioFutura Systematik, a secretive genetic research facility combining elements of natural science, medicine, computer science, and nanotechnology. When Victor Milton dies, Cat returns to her hometown of Blackfield to attend his funeral. Her dark stalker follows her, harassing her even during her train journey. Then, the day after his funeral, Cat's dead father appears to her in person, supplying her with a letter intended for one of his work colleagues. Intrigued and frightened by this development, Cat and her sister begin to investigate the circumstances surrounding BioFutura's research and their father's death. However, there are several other parties involved, too. The stakes are high, and the science involved is mind-bending...
Fundin's writing was excellent right from the start of the book. His smooth and concise style made this book a pleasure to read, featuring neat descriptive sentences perfect for the thriller genre. His economical descriptions of new characters included the following: “The male visitor was bald. Grey-brown eyes. Blunt nose. Apple-shaped cheeks. Broad shoulders.” For another character, he wrote: “The visitor’s pinewood-blond hair was trimmed like a golf green. Lips as thin as rubber bands. The smile as sharp as a paper-cutting blade.” A pleasure to read, such writing also clearly defined the characters with their own distinct looks and personalities. The misguided antagonists and the outright psychopaths were beautifully realised; each had their own unique inner monologue and bizarre eccentricities.
The solid character development did not come at the cost of suspense or advancement of the plot, however. The story always moved forward, with occasional past events included to further define certain characters. These flashbacks were interesting and dramatic, lacking nothing in entertainment value. The editing of Disorder was exceptionally good; I found just one typographical error in the entire book. Overall, I felt there were definite similarities in subject matter between Fundin and bestselling thriller writer Dean Koontz, especially the use of advanced science that seemed to border on the supernatural. However, a refreshing difference between the two was Fundin's economy with words and shorter descriptive sentences. As much as I enjoy Koontz, I find some of his “flowery” descriptive writing and long sentences exhausting, and sometimes wish he would just tell the story more simply like Stephen King; or, in this case, like Johan Fundin.
My only negative point about this book concerns the dialogue, which I occasionally found a little wordy, perhaps a sentence or two longer than necessary. However, one could argue that, usually, this suited the sociable, chatty women of the book, so it wasn't really much of a problem. The only time it really annoyed me was during a precarious moment with one character in a life-or-death situation, where another character could have saved them immediately but instead chose to talk longer than necessary, asking too many questions about their predicament.
Overall, I found Disorder a brilliant techno-thriller, full of suspense, with rich and detailed characters. Beautifully edited and boasting an amazing level of realistic-sounding scientific detail, this book fully deserves a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Fans of crime, medical, and supernatural thrillers should all enjoy this book, particularly those who like the more science-oriented works of Dean Koontz. With this book, Johan Fundin has established himself as a definite talent to watch in the thriller genre.
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