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First Contact

Patrick Woodrow

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Arrow Books Ltd

Published : 2009

Copyright : Patrick Woodrow 2009

ISBN-10 : PB 0-09-947862-5
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-09-947862-1

Publisher's Write-Up

In the heart of the jungle lies a powerful secret. A secret thousands die for every year. A secret that men will kill for. They hoped for the trip of a lifetime. Now they are minutes from death. Mark and Melanie Bridges are lost in the world's most hostile forest. Their guides are dead. They have no shelter, no water, no hope. Then, as the shadows lengthen, they stumble on the wreck of a crashed helicopter. The pilot and passenger are bones, their doomed mission to this remote and dangerous land, uncertain. But the skeletons have left behind both good and bad: vital supplies to keep the pair alive. And a mystery that threatens to kill them. Soon nowhere is safe. Not even the civilisation they left behind. And as the clues unfold, so begin the lies, the blackmail, the kidnapping and murder. Because Mark and Melanie's secret is far bigger than they ever imagined. Bigger too than the jungle that hides it, and the ruthless killers who pursue it. It is a secret that commands the power of life and death. A secret that will change the world forever.

'Top drawer wouldn't want to miss the excitement.'

Lancashire Evening Post

'A dizzying spinning-wheel of a tale, where pace is king.'

The Oxford Times

'This book is simply awesome. I highly recommend it.'

Euro Crime
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (310109) Rating (7/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 7/10
The write-up for this book implies a great conspiracy covering a fabulous secret, and whilst it is well written and entertaining enough, the great secret did not remain that way for long. A doctor and his sister get lost in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, their guides are killed in a tribal dispute and they flee into the jungle. After a couple of days without supplies, they find a crashed helicopter, and a body with a briefcase handcuffed to its wrist. They are forced to leave the briefcase but it turns out that someone else is very interested in the whereabouts of the helicopter and / or briefcase and they find themselves in harms way in a rush to get back to it.

I liked the pace with which the story unfolded, and the relationship between the characters, and in spite of the fact that I guessed the secret early on, I did not mind waiting for the official unveiling, as it were. It must be incredibly difficult for authors to put enough background information into a story to make it credible, and yet not put so much information that the story becomes a little lost amongst that data. I found that the anthropological information about numbers of tribes and languages to be a little detrimental to the plot. The lack of a decent map or current survey was rather overused in the illustration of quite how inaccessible this area is in this modern age of fast transport and communication. However, it is not a great niggle, just an observation and in truth other readers may not mind the volume of background information.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this, and do wonder whether this author might be suited to a series with the same characters (not necessarily these) because he writes with a certain affection for them, flaws and all. I liked the doctor, he was resourceful, and maybe the medical-adventure-thriller is an untapped market... you never know.
Chrissi (31st January 2009)

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