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The Doomsday Conspiracy by Sidney Sheldon

Commander Robert Bellamy is hired by the NSA to locate people that have witnessed a weather balloon, with some secret equipment, crash in the Swiss alps. They don't tell him why, and he soon realizes there is something big going on. It’s an interesting story and has much potential. Unfortunately, the big mystery culminates in a chase. Bellamy’s mission is to find the witnesses, but I would be more interested in the big discovery in the mountains if I were him. Bellamy’s search for the witnesses feels repetitive. They all resemble each other. Not one of them seem to care very much about the big discovery. Why have they not already contacted the newspapers? 

The book resembles the structure of a movie script, with not much inner dialogue, and it seems that Sheldon has not given a thought about how best to reveal the big mystery. Events are often presented like scenes in a movie, and it works for most of the time, but it would have been much more interesting if Sheldon valued the emotional aspect more. This is common in the genre, but I still miss the psychology, why people do as they do, and why Bellamy doesn’t question certain events. As a movie, it would have been approximately 90 minutes long, and Bellamy wouldn’t have seem that ignorant. In a book, you wonder when he will discover the truth. Bellamy is supposed to be one of the most successful naval officers. Yet, he rarely think about the cause of his mission and the whole picture.

The part where Bellamy becomes the target is interesting. He is extremely professional, and that is why he sometimes becomes disappointing. When creating falce traces, why rent a hotel room in your real name? A good agent wouldn’t do that. When trying to find a way out, why tell people where you are going? Sometimes, he is very intelligent, and sometimes not. Of course, showing the reader all perspectives right away might diminish my patience. If Sheldon had left me in the dark for a while longer, Bellamy would have seem more intelligent. Furthermore, it would have been interesting to discover everything at the same time as him.

Never the less, government cover-ups and conspiracies are always interesting, and the message of the book is very relevant and a topic of current interest. Even though the book has flaws, it's entertaining.

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