Good Reading : September 2016
GOOD READING SEPTEMBER 2016 17 WRITER’S LIFE 2 4 . The last vestiges of the deadly smallpox virus could be terminated forever, but stocks of this virus are kept in two high-security laboratories: one in Atlanta, Georgia, and the other in Russia. Or so it was thought. Until 2014, when forgotten vials of smallpox were found at a Maryland lab. Is it just me who finds this worrying? 5 . There is a skin-eating bacterium in Devour that causes a condition called necrotising fasciitis. This really exists and it can kill. 6 . In Devour, Russian SVR agents are after Olivia Wolfe, and the man she has teamed up with may also be secretly working for them. Known for decades as the KGB, this much-feared espionage agency has been reincarnated as the SVR or the Foreign Intelligence Service, and it may have been behind the murder of Alexander Litvinenko by radioactive poisoning in 2006. 7 . The UK’s SO15, which features in the book, really exists. Counter Terrorism Command is a Specialist Operations branch within London’s Metropolitan Police Service, focused on investigating and preventing terror ist attacks and networks. In a white-out, the snow and ice in the air are so thick that you can’t see the horizon and, often, not even your feet. While researching amazing things i learned 8 . The aircraft carrier that features in Devour, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, is a real British Royal Navy warship. She is huge! From keel to masthead she is 56m tall, which is four metres taller than Niagara Falls. It has a flight deck area the equivalent of 49 tennis courts and it could accommodate over 470 London buses. 9 . The myster ious cyberstalker in Devour infects Wolfe’s laptop with a Remote Access Trojan, or RAT, and they use this to activate Wolfe’s webcam without her knowing. This enables the stalker to watch Wolfe, overhear her conversations and view her files. This is a real scenario, and there are men who cyberstalk women in this way. They even sell viewing r ights to other men. 10. When the reader first meets Wolfe, she is in Kabul, Afghanistan. I discovered an odd fact while researching this city: Kabul’s favourite car is the Toyota Corolla. Don’t ask me why. Devour by L A Larkin is published by Constable, rrp $29.99. See ellsworth.org.uk for more info about Lake Ellsworth.