Pandora’s Clock by John J. Nance

Published: 1995

Genre: thriller

Length: 357 pages

Setting: December 22-24th, present to the time of writing, on board Flight 66

Interest: I was looking for an N author, and this book sounded interesting

Summary: Ernest Helms is exposed to an unknown but highly deadly virus while he is in Germany. When he boards a plane for the U.S., his heart attack starts an international incident. The German minister overseeing the research at the private German company sends up a red flag on the passenger, but offers no real details. The airplane is suddenly a pariah. No one wants a potentially highly infectious and deadly disease on their home soil. In the U.S., a CIA agent decides to kill two birds with one stone. He hires a Russian operative to blow up the plane (removing the vector), and place the blame for the incident on the up-and-coming terrorist group, Aqbah. The captain of the flight manages to avoid being shot down and it turns out the disease was only transmitted via blood.

Final thoughts: I chose the book because I thought the concept was fascinating, and rather topical with the Ebola epidemic ongoing. There’s a horrible disease on an airplane, everyone’s potentially infected. What do you do with the airplane? I thought the scenario played out was fairly realistic, although I’m not sure we needed the rogue CIA agent framing the terrorist group.

I also found the women in the story to be shallow and single noted (“Oh, my, aren’t you a fine, handsome man who will save me from this disaster). Sex and a manly man aren’t the first things I would think of in a disaster. Annoying to say the least. Finally, I kept wondering what the people on board were doing with themselves as this disaster played out over several days. They were able to bring on food and water, but the bathrooms never got cleaned out so would they even be functional after that amount of use? And what did the people do all day? You can only sit so long. Focus on the captain and the action, and it’s all good.

Title comes from: The airplane was a Pandora’s Box of germs and they only had so many supplies to stay up in the air.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 66/100 in my 100 Book Challenge, and an N in my Author’s Alphabet Soup Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog


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