Review: White Sleeper by David R. Fett and Stephen Langford

I had such high hopes for this book.

It’s a good premise: a bitter white supremacist working with a Muslim sleeper cell to launch a bioterror attack on US soil. A CDC agent with a spotty past and one last chance to prove himself. A mysterious operative known only as Mr. Smith. It’s the backbone of a good book or action movie, but White Sleeper never lives up to the promise.

I knew we were in trouble when the book began in one of my least favorite ways: a series of unrelated vignettes about complete strangers that will somehow be woven together over the course of the book. Sometimes, it works; usually, it’s a sign that the author doesn’t know how to give you the backstory any other way.

My big problem with White Sleeper is that it never manages to build any credible amount of tension or suspense. I never believed for a minute that the terrorists would win. Other than a little mystery surrounding the type of attack and their method for launching it, there was no mystery at all. There’s a little conflict between our hero, Dr. Dave Richards, and his politically astute boss at the CDC. There is the mystery of when (not if) Dr. Richards and the lovely FBI agent, Paula Mushari, will fall into bed. But there was really nothing to keep me turning pages, other than my commitment to a review.

Personally, I hope Fett and Langford sell the movie rights. A good director could punch this up a little, give it some suspense and a little more action. It’s timely and realistic enough to appeal to the “ripped from the headlines” crowd. I’m only sorry that the novel did not have enough of that punch and suspense to hold my attention.

My copy of White Sleeper was an Advance Review Copy, provided free of charge.

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