The manufactured “controversy” over climate change seems an unlikely theme for a suspense novel. But physics professor, climate change researcher, and novelist Christopher Keating makes it work, mostly.
Jo Black is a young investigative reporter for a big city newspaper. She gets into hot water for exposing the deception of politicians and “think tanks” who have a vested interest in denying the overwhelming evidence for climate change. Also, two people have been murdered to cover up a damaging scientific report. Jo Black is next on the hit list.
Climate change deniers hiring hit men may also be a bit of a stretch. They have enough money and political influence to spread misinformation in less dangerous ways. But it’s not really a moral stretch. Organzations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heritage Foundation, thinly veiled under other names in Keating’s novel, are no less lethal to human life.
That Which Maddens and Torments has enough sex and violence to keep the plot moving. But Keating needs a better editor. The novel has a number of usage errors that a spell checker wouldn’t catch but a human editor should. Punctuation errors make some of the dialog difficult to follow.
Still, the novel is worth reading as an entertaining page-turner, and a good introduction to climate science for those who may otherwise find the subject too dry.