The Tulip Virus begins with two murders in two different eras. Wouter Winckel is murdered in Alkmaar, Holland in 1636. Dutchman Frank Schoeller is murdered in London in 2007. The novel is told in this way, two threads linked by tulips. For the most part the novel is a fast paced thriller, the threads do not confuse and the tulip details are fascinating.
My problem was with the character of Alec, Frank's nephew. I found him a irritating character which spoiled my personal enjoyment of the story, and the ending annoyed me.
But this is well written thriller and the tulips and their mysterious virus add a great deal of originality to the plot.
If you like modern thrillers this is one to try. (less)