With his fifth book, Michael Parker is definitely flexing his writerly muscles. His story is mainly set in the Caribbean and CIA headquarters and posits a nightmare scenario of which even the popular Clive Cussler would be proud.
Yet it starts innocently enough with an accident at sea. Marsh and Greg, his business partner, are onboard their yacht the Ocean Quest when a ship runs them down. Greg dies, leaving a widow Helen back at their office. These early chapters are tense and create a mystery you want to resolve by reading on.
Then we meet CIA operator Remo who is investigating the arrival on a beach of an anonymous individual suffering from radiation sickness. Alarm bells start to ring, especially when it is revealed that three nuclear bombs - a trinity of death and destruction - have gone missing from Uzbekistan.
Respectable business magnate Hakeem Khan is behind this latest attempt at bringing the `Great Satan', America, to its knees. Onboard a vessel sailing the Caribbean, he finds that his plans have been forestalled by the disappearance or death of the pilot of their submersible, the Challenger, which was key to the mission's success.
Thus the stage is set for these disparate lives to become intertwined in a race against time. The story involves kidnap, violence and bravery. Marsh is coerced into working for Khan, knowing that Helen's life is forfeit if he refuses. But he fears that he is expendable too.
Considerable knowledge about underwater exploration and airborne firepower are fairly seamlessly woven into the tale of cat-and-mouse between the cunning Khan and the might of the US.
The fast-paced storyline has the potential to make a good movie. Without a doubt, all fans of techno-thrillers should get their money's worth with this one.