Microscopic view of mold

Librarian’s Choice – The Uninvited Guest

A review of Cold Storage by David Koepp

Review by Elizabeth Lang, Public Services

Skylab crashes to earth in 1979, bringing with it a very aggressive hitchhiker- mutated Cordyceps Novus- which finds Earth to be a rich, nutritious planet, teeming with beings that support its explosive growth. Fortunately for humanity, it lands in a highly isolated area of Australia and is imprisoned in the piece of Skylab in which it lives. Until, after 8 years of further mutating and growing, it is no longer confined.

Book cover of Cold Storage by David Koepp

In 1987, a group including bioterrorism specialist Roberto Diaz and partner Trini Romano are dispatched to the remote village in Australia where the new and improved Cordyceps Novus has killed an entire town. The deadly fungus contaminates one of the investigators through her containment suit and almost succeeds in escaping its confines. Diaz and Romano manage to contain it and bury it in cold storage beneath the earth in a remote military containment facility in the United States. Life moves on.

Thirty years later, ex-con Teacake and struggling single mom Naomi are overnight shift “rent-a-cops” stuck working for a crappy boss, monitoring the large complex of buildings where they work in rural Kansas. One night they hear a muffled but insistent *beeping* alarm from a location they find very difficult to reach within the complex. As they investigate, the situation quickly becomes surreal, and they are suddenly caught up in a nightmarish scenario they may not survive.

This first novel by screenwriter Koepp has all the hallmarks of a great action movie- a fast-paced plot, likeable characters, a ruthless bad guy, and impending doom! It is an easy read that manages both laugh-out-loud humor and gruesome violence, sometimes in the same sentence. Readers who don’t like gory stories should skip this one. Recommended for fans of Michael Crichton and Richard Preston.