Is it possible to travel nook and corner of every single street in all the cities of the world? Why not? He is on such a mission not just for fun but to save the world. As we are relying more and more on GPS and online maps, paper maps are slowly disappearing. In the event of a major internet crash, and if there is an attack on major cities, who would tell the directions. Who has a photographic memory for this Herculean task? Who will save the day if there was an alien attack? Right, right! This is not a science fiction story. If you have read Linwood Barclay's book before, you would know what kind of book this is. If you haven't, this is the kind of story where an ordinary man gets involved in well um thrilling events.
Ray Kilbride, a cartoonist, is back home for his father's funeral. His father died in an accident involving the lawn mower in the garden. Ray is trying to settle his father's estate and decide on his younger brother Thomas, who lives confined in his rooms brooding over the Whril360 program (virtual map) virtually traveling the nook and corner of major cities in the world, trying to save the world in case of a major attack. Thomas is schizophrenic and completely dependent on his father and is obsessed with maps and believes that he is working for CIA. Traveling the roads of the New York, Thomas spots something that looks like the image of somebody being murdered. Thomas makes Ray look into the matter, travel to New York and see if somebody is murdered in that place. Ray visits New York on work but also to assure his brother that the image he saw was not a murder but something else, visits the place setting into motion things to come. There are two mysteries in this novel. One about the image Thomas views in his virtual journey and other is a nagging feeling that there is something wrong with Ray's father's death. Was he killed and why?
The first thing I did while reading the book is google whirl360. Go on google it. It leads to the author's website. There is some excitement about visiting virtually the places you have lived, your old school, or the places you might be visiting or hoping to live, isn't it? Linwood Barclay toys with this idea and creates a thriller. I quite liked the idea of viewing a murder on a virtual map site and I liked the execution of it too. Is it plausible? Why not? So what do you do, if you spot something like that. Would anybody believe you, especially if the world knows that you are schizophrenic? Even if you are not, if the image is blurry, who is going to believe you and there is the question of when the murder took place. The murder may have taken place anytime, it just took place when the vehicle with the camera passed that particular road, which could be as far back as two or three years or as late as yesterday. We get two narrations, one of Ray's, the other about the murder that took place about an athletic assassin. I liked the twists and turns and surprises. Trust your Eyes you are on a thrilling ride.