Friday, March 27, 2020

My Washington Times 'On Crime' Column: COVID-19 Is The Stuff Of Thrillers

The Washington Times published my On Crime column on the COVID-19 outbreak being the stuff of thrillers. 

A reader wrote me and stated that the COVID-19 outbreak was a Communist Chinese plot to destroy Western economies. He had no proof, but he is not alone in thinking that China or someone else intentionally spread the COVID-19.

I have my doubts about this conspiracy theory and others like it, as they are the stuff of fanciful thrillers. Of course, many thrillers are based on reality and some thrillers have predicted future events. For example, in Tom Clancy’s 1994 thriller “Debt of Honor,” a modern-day Kamikaze suicide pilot crashed his plane into the Capital Building, anticipating the horrific 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

In the thriller, a group of Japanese businessmen take over the Japanese government and go to war with America once again. Perhaps not wishing to offend the Japanese, the producers of the film version of “Debt of Honor” changed the bad guys into Nazis.  

In Ed McBain’s 2001 novel “Money, Money, Money,” he had the bad guys use counterfeit money to finance a terrorist plot akin to the 9/11 plot. When McBain’s Middle Eastern character arrived at an American airport he was deeply offended at being profiled as a terrorist — even though he was one.

McBain’s fine crime novel was published just two days before the 9/11 attack. Ed McBain, aka Evan Hunter, said he was on a book promotion tour in Chicago when he heard the news of the 9/11 attack, and he noted the eerie similarity between his novel and the real unfolding events.

Dean Koontz predicted the COVID-19 outbreak in his 1981 thriller “The Eyes of Darkness.” The novel was about a Chinese military lab that created a new virus as a biological weapon. The lab just happened to be located in Wuhan, China, the place where the COVID-19 outbreak began. Mr. Koontz called the weaponized virus the Wuhan-400.

And there is Ian Fleming.  

“Fleming was able to peer beyond the Cold War limitations of mere spy fiction and to anticipate the emerging milieu of the Colombian cartels, Osama bin Laden and, indeed the Russian Mafia, as well as the nightmarish idea that some such fanatical freelance megalomaniac would eventually collar some weapons-grade plutonium,” Christopher Hitchens wrote in his introduction to a series of reissued Ian Fleming novels.

You can read the rest of the column below or via the below link:

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