Book Review – Thripz By: Robert Farley
We live in a time of constant fear. Terrorist hit us hard with the 9/11 attacks and now, fear has become an everyday thing. Everything is looked upon as a possible terror attack: food contamination, West Nile Virus, etc. A book, fiction or not, becomes more compelling when it parallels with a current fear. Robert Farley developed an idea from the days he use to work on a farm in Hawaii. Working indoors not out didn’t stop him from using his surroundings. In the end, he created an evil biogeneticists with one mission in life: seeking revenge. Two feuding farms in paradise gives him that opportunity. With every villain there is a hero. This techno-thriller produces a reporter to save the day.
Nathan Brewster, a reporter for the Waikiki Times, left the fast-pace of city life for the mundane stories to entertain mostly tourists. While at the Honolulu Police Station gathering police reports for his column, he came across a weird story of a man attacked by insects and reported missing. Who could pass up something like that, right? He manages to get his hands on a dead specimen of the allege culprit and rushes it to a college professor friend. While at the college entomology department, he meets a local farmer, Tommy Wagner, who’s melons and peppers were destroyed by the very same insect. Dr. James Lanahino and his students discovered the insects were in fact thrips, a common garden pest. There is one slight problem. These thrips were genetically modified to reproduce faster and are immune to pesticides. That’s the last thing you want to hear. The only person capable of creating such an insect, no one can find.
Dr. Lanahino and his team continue to break down the insects genetic structure and try to find a way to keep them from spreading all over the island of Oahu. In the meantime, Nathan continues to keep track of where the thrips are, who they are attacking, and where they may head next, helping the military and law enforcement contain the infestation the best they can. If that wasn’t enough to keep this reporter on his toes, he consents to helping Tommy (and his story) to determine why his competitor, Tapaya Farms are not only experiencing the thrips rampage but also has managed to get their hands on a specific pheromone to keep them away. However, what they find were two feuding farms unknowingly were working together to help Philip Wei with his revenge plot.
I’m not a big fan of insects period. Yes, I’m the type of person who would do a crazy dance just to get a grasshopper off of me. This book didn’t really help with that fear either. There were a few typos. They could easily be missed if you weren’t really looking. I think the only other reservation I have is with the characters Jin and Sung, Philip Wei’s bodyguards. It’s well established how much of a psychopath Wei was though some may understand why. However, considering who Jin and Sung were, why would they risk witnesses? They had chances to kill or at least let Wei kill Lianne Halea, the first dead guy’s fiance, and Jael Duncan, works with Nathan, but chose to save them instead. If they were just bad guys with a conscious, that wouldn’t be any big deal. But the plan was to take Wei’s work back to North Korea and use it for their own military purposes. Despite how it ends, they would have quite a bit to lose leaving loose ends. It just seems a bit out of character for bad guys like them.
Thripz is one long rope of mystery and suspense without any kinks or knots. The point-of-view shifts between multiple characters but you’re never lost among all the chaos. Despite a few minor spelling errors and in my opinion, a bit of confusion with a couple of character’s behavior, this book is a good read. I wouldn’t say it’s worthy of Great American Novel status, but good for a nice thrill ride. Thripz is available for purchase on Amazon. Visit the Thripz website if you want an autographed copy.