Boris Petrevich looks at his hands as he approaches the checkpoint in his old Volvo. No tremor. Better than his insides. He figures his chance of survival beyond the Russian checkpoint is fifty-fifty. Stuck under his belt in the small of his back is the World War II-vintage Russian TT-33 7.62 mm semi-automatic pistol he was issued years ago. It is all he has; guns and ammo inside the old Soviet nuclear research compound are too carefully controlled. He has not fired the gun since the collapse of the Soviet Union, saving up his ration of ammunition.
Petrevich, former chief scientist there at the old Soviet nuclear research and weapons center, feels a moment of relief when he sees only two guards rather than the usual eight or so at the checkpoint. One of them approaches the Volvo and sticks a hand-held Geiger-counter inside the car. It begins its signature ticking. “Do you know of any reason your car might be hot, sir?”
“My work is at the research center. That’s probably why.”
“Step out of the car so that I can check inside more thoroughly. And I will need to see your credentials.”
Petrevich has hoped to avoid these intrusions. He gets out of the car and reaches behind his back as if to retrieve his papers. The officer does not see the T-33 before the 7.62 mm round destroys the left side of his head.
A year later, counterterrorism expert Cam Warfield tracks the bomb-grade uranium to Tokyo where a bitter Japan aviation official uses it to plan mass destruction inside the U.S. It becomes Warfield’s job to convince the skeptical President of the United States that a bomb made from that same uranium sits in the belly of a Japanese passenger airliner as it approaches the California coast off Los Angeles. The President must decide whether to shoot the plane out of the sky and risk international disaster, or to believe Warfield. Only minutes remain as he weighs the unfathomable consequences of either of the two courses of action that become his duty to choose from.
About the Author
Nick Ganaway is an avid reader of the likes of thrillers written by of Daniel Silva, John Grisham, Michael Connelly, Ben Macintyre, David Baldacci, Don Winslow, Ken Follett, Vince Flynn, Nelson DeMille and so many others of the genre, as well as true accounts of military special operations. Nick lives in Dunwoody, GA, and has three loving children and five beautiful grandchildren.