The Ark  - Boyd Morrison Here's a quiz. What book has the following opening scene?

In the first chapter, a professorial gentleman is shot and left for dead. Breathing his last few breaths, he frantically leaves a cryptic message that will unlock a biblical mystery which he hopes will get back to his loving daughter.

If you are thinking of a book that rhymes with "you pinched me nose"...wrong. I just described the prologue for The Ark, a technological thriller that involves the secrets of Noah's Ark. The prologue also illustrates what is wrong with cookie cutter novels like this. In looking at the reviews, it is interesting that the author's style is compared by various reviewers to Grisham, Cussler, Brown and practically every other best-selling mainstream writer of this genre. Perhaps because the novel has no true style of its own. The hero trips into one action sequence to another with a heroine who sticks to him like Crazy Glue and a sidekick who just happens to be there for comic relief and not much else. I suspect the writer had movie rights in mind more than book sales when he wrote this. I also wasn't too impressed with the plot. The Noah's Ark premise started out promising but when the author was borrowing from Dan Brown, he forgot to borrow the ability to involve the reader with a feeling of awe and mystery. The plot sort of muddles around through more contrived situations but finally develops into a scheme that turns the Ark into...well, I won't indulge in spoilers. Let's just say I was not convinced.

Morrison isn't a bad writer by any means but he does tend to rely on cliched dialogue like, "Give me one reason why I shouldn't kill you." That, stiff characterization, and formula action was rampant throughout and made this novel a bit of a chore to read. It isn't really bad enough for a one star rating. However I must admit the second star keeps wanting to topple over. I consider these techno thriller to be a bit of a guilty pleasure for me and I often enjoy them as good summer reads, but this one just left me cold.