PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 December, 2011, 12:00am


by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston (read by John Bedford Lloyd)
HarperCollins (audiobook)

I've said if before and I'll say it again: non-existence is no longer a barrier to publication. For some writers (Virginia Andrews, Robert Ludlum) it seems a veritable boon. Michael Crichton completed the first third of Micro before his death in 2008. Thriller writer Richard Preston picked up the reins some months later. The big idea this time is actually small: nanotechnology. The plot starts with three bodies, all sliced with razor-thin cuts, but with no (perceivable) murder weapon. Seven brilliant and, of course, attractively young researchers are lured to Hawaii by the chance to work for Erik Jansen and hi-tech company, Naningen. The mission is to miniaturise people to about an inch in height. What could possibly go wrong with that scenario - especially with a nearby jungle filled with all manner of hairy monsters? Sadly, John Bedford Lloyd is not the best choice for narrator. He reads as though testing out his reading skills after a long vow of silence. His plodding and somewhat monotonous rendering would be better suited to a speaking clock than this rather absurd thriller.