Lowell feels contagious with doom. A divorced father with young children, he dreads the anniversary of a hijacked Paris-New York flight on which his mother was killed when he was sixteen years old. Samantha, a survivor of the disaster, is plaguing Lowell with phone calls. She says she has information from declassified documents and is obsessed with learning the whole truth about Air France 64. ‘What can be worse than not knowing?’ she asks. But Lowell only wants to forget.
When his father dies suddenly and mysteriously on the anniversary of the hijacking, leaving Lowell the key to a locker in an airport terminal, a terrible story unfurls before him. Together, he and Samantha find the inescapable truth bearing down on them with the force of a jumbo jet. Janette Turner Hospital’s electrifying novel probes with astonishing acuity the murky worlds of espionage and intelligence gathering, the experience of terror and the meaning of survival.
Reviews of Due Preparations for the Plague
- ‘Janette Turner Hospital is a writer of consummate craft and visionary insight. She is always surprising, and seems always to be renewing herself as one of our major writers.’ Joyce Carol Oates
- ‘Hospital is a poet of paranoia, and this book could do for the post-September 11 era what John le Carre did for the Cold War.’ Time Out
- ‘One of the most powerful and innovative writers in English today.’ TLS
- ‘This is a remarkable novel that deals with a sensationalist subject without once resorting to sensationalism. It will haunt you long after you’ve finished it.’ The Scotsman
- ‘A deft and economic writer…there are extraordinary scenes that make the novel so memorable, lifting it from the realm of the thriller into a meditation on the human spirit.’ Sunday Times
- ‘[Due Preparations for the Plague] goes beyond a spy thriller to evoke poignantly the heartbreak that terrorism can leave in its wake.’ Daily Mail
- ‘Hospital has created a very poignant, very intelligent and very frightening book.’ The Times