3 out of 4 stars
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Abdullah Chaudhry wished to be a veterinarian, but the closest he could get to that dream was being a veterinary technician. During the time he was working in a veterinary lab in England, Abdullah suffered abuse at the hands of his boss. He attributed this maltreatment to the fact that he was a Pakistani immigrant. As a result, Abdullah hated all Brits and swore to hurt them. He resorted to selling infectious disease specimens from the lab to terrorists before his retirement.
Can you guess the terrorist group that bought the specimens? Well, it's the dreaded al-Qaeda! And they intend using them to infect America's livestock. They even include attacking crop farms in America with plant diseases as part of their plans to cripple the nation's economy. After a rare outbreak of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the US and reliable intelligence suggesting al-Qaeda's imminent attacks, the president of the United States asks Winston Sage, a retired epidemiologist, to join the FBI in their investigations. Will al-Qaeda succeed in crippling America's agricultural sector? Maybe Winston can help the security agencies to prevent the planned attacks. You have to read this intriguing title to find out.
Livestock, Dead Stock by Seymour Grufferman is a thriller about agro-terrorism. It is the third book in the Winston Sage Trilogy, but readers don't need to read the others to enjoy this one. I liked the author's use of the third-person point of view for the entire narrations. This style put me in a vantage position to witness the simultaneous events in the book. Also, I enjoyed the author's use of a simple language in this title because it made my reading experience smooth.
What I liked the most about this title is its relevance. The author's message through this title is thought-provoking, and I believe our security agencies can learn a thing or two from this fictionalized story. The one thing I kept telling myself throughout the read was, "I hope the terrorists don't resort to these methods in my country!"
Furthermore, I enjoyed the author's sense of humor in the book. It is evident in Winston's character as he provided me with some comic relief amidst the worrying events in the book. More so, I enjoyed how suspenseful the read was for me. I couldn't put the book down because I was so eager to know what happened at the end. The descriptions in this title are also praiseworthy because of the vivid images it helped form in my mind.
Nevertheless, I didn't enjoy the dialogues in this book. They seemed unnatural and sometimes unreasonably long. Understandably, the author tried to use conversations to explain some of the events, but I wished they were more engaging and life-like. What I disliked the most about this title is its characterization. There were just too many characters! In a bid to give a detailed account of events in different settings, the author ended up creating many characters that I couldn't relate to in the book.
In conclusion, I am rating Livestock, Dead Stock 3 out of 4 stars. I knocked off a star due to the issues I mentioned above. However, I couldn't give the book a lower rating due to its alluring plot, relevance, and for being an overall fascinating reading experience. The book is professionally edited, with a few errors and minor profanities. I am recommending it to readers who love crime and mystery books, especially those who enjoy books about terrorism.
Live Stock, Dead Stock
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