SOLE SURVIVOR begins with an anguished Joe Carpenter, mourning the
loss of his wife and two daughters who have perished in a plane
crash. One year after the crash of Flight 353, driven by grief to
the brink of suicide, Joe meets a mysterious woman at the cemetery
who gives him hope that his daughter Nina is alive.
Joe, a former crime reporter, delves into this woman's past and
meets other victims' families. He travels from California to
Colorado to seek out the mystery woman he is convinced is Dr. Rose
Tucker, a geneticist, and also a passenger on Flight 353.
Right there, I had a problem: I found it difficult to fathom that
anyone could survive a crash that mowed a crater into a meadow. The
story seemed a bit farfetched, and explanations weren't solid
enough to make me believe that Rose Tucker survived a crash that
killed 330 passengers. Or make that 329.
I was reminded of Dean Koontz's WATCHERS as I read SOLE
SURVIVOR. The pattern is very much the same: Government
secrets and good vs. evil. We are once again given a story that is
based upon genetics, narrow escapes and a secret unknown
Although the book didn't keep me up all night reading, it did deal
with issues and themes that I believe to be important. It was
primarily a venture in self-exploration, trust and hope. Joe
Carpenter was forced to look inward, as he didn't have the power to
do since the deaths of his wife and children. He was forced to
trust those he did not know in order to achieve peace of mind. And
Koontz, like Joe, leaves us with hope in its purest and innocent
form --- from a child.
Reviewed by Marlene Taylor on January 23, 2011