Friday, 2 November 2012

Tsunami by Nicole Stuart

Book Title:  Tsunami

ISBN  9781465722157

Part of Series:  Part of Integra series – see Integra, Run!, Ransom, Hydrocarbon, Lost!, Population, Meteor Impact, Recovery, Virus

Author:  Nicole Stuart

Available at:  Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple  Diesel, Baker-Taylor, Sony 

Price:  $5.99

Number of words (approximately):  53 125

Star Rating (of five):  Five

Summary:  Jason and Jenny are on a working vacation in La Palma, an idyllic island in the Canaries, when they notice the unusual behavior of a group of men.  Their suspicions are sharpened when their photographic film is damaged by radiation, and then they find the men at a drill site on a huge rock that is poised to slip into the sea.  Jason, a geologist, knows that the rock is precariously balanced, and, if it slips, it will set off a tsunami that has the potential to destroy all coastal cities on the Atlantic Ocean!  They try to warn the Spanish authorities, but are blocked, so they call in the CIA.  There is not enough time to wait for official help, and they are forced to take action themselves to stop the terrorists.


- “They’re going to the south site, to load the nuke!” whispered Jason, excitedly.

“Good!  They’ll find the man there dead, and when they try to lift the nuke out of the car, they’ll get a nasty surprise!”  Laurence smiled widely at the thought.  “We must get ready to take these men out.  It looks to me that they’re almost ready to load the nuke.”

As he spoke, the leader ordered four of the men to turn the box on its side, and he set to work with a screwdriver to open it.  In the meanwhile, another man worked at attaching a drum of thin steel cable to a pulley they mounted on the drill rig, obviously to be used to lower the nuclear projectile down the hole.  Within a couple of minutes, the two halves of the box separated and exposed the slim projectile in its rack.  It looked both elegant and evil.

Jason pulled out his radio and gave three clicks, waited a few seconds, then repeated the three clicks.

“Open fire!” said Laurence in a low voice.  He took aim, and pulled the trigger.  The leader flew backwards, a red stain on his chest.  There was hardly a sound from the silenced rifle.  His shot was followed almost immediately by Jason, who took a bead on the drill rig operator, flattening him.  The other men at the rig looked in puzzlement at the two men on the ground, then, suddenly understanding that they were under attack, they dived for cover.  Jason and Laurence quickly shifted their aims, taking out another man before the remaining two hit the ground, taking cover behind whatever they could find.  After a few seconds, the men began returning fire, shooting wildly.  Jason pressed the transmit button on his radio three times again, instructing Jenny to open fire immediately, as he and Laurence backed away from their positions, separating and moving to other points where they could see the men. 


Jenny was lying under her camouflage cape, watching the two men at the site, lazing in the heat of the day in the shade of the lean-to.  They showed no sign of the tension that Jenny felt.  Suddenly, there came a sound of the three click command on her radio, followed almost immediately by automatic gunfire from the distance.  Taken unwarned, she quickly lifted her rifle to take aim at the first of the two men, to see them diving to the ground, away from where they had been sitting.  She took aim at the furthest of the men, squeezing the trigger quickly, riding the recoil and bringing the rifle sight down onto the second man.  His body was out of sight behind one of the barrels, and his legs were withdrawing as well.  She managed to get off a shot at him, and was pleased to see his leg jerk as the bullet hit.  She looked around for the first man she had shot at, not seeing him, but finding a trail of blood where he had continued his roll to stop behind a stack of barrels.  Cursing under her breath, Jenny withdrew from her position and moved to the side, taking care to keep under cover as she did so.  The move was just in time, as several shots came from the man behind the barrels, aimed at the position that Jenny had occupied just seconds earlier.  By the sound of them, the man was using a large-caliber pistol, probably shooting blind as he kept under cover.  She took up her new position, and scanned the area.  She could just catch sight of the foot of the first man she had shot, so she took careful aim and squeezed off a shot, feeling the satisfaction of knowing that she hit her target.  The pistols shots stopped abruptly.  Jenny looked around the site, but could see no target, living or dead.  However, she could see the nuke in its box.

Jenny recalled a lecture in which the lecturer had informed the student group that it was most unlikely that a nuclear weapon would explode unless the process was initialized by the weapon trigger, which set off a simultaneous explosion of two opposed shaped charges to propel two pieces of fissionable material together at high speed.  When Jenny questioned him on this, he stated firmly that the explosion of one of the shaped charges alone could not initiate the explosion of the other shaped charge in the correct sequence and timing.  He was adamant that it was safe to shoot at a nuclear weapon, provided, of course, that one did not hang around too long in the immediate vicinity of its radioactive leakage!  Jenny had retained her skepticism, but now she recalled what the man had said.  Mentally shrugging her shoulders, she took aim at the box, firing five rounds at it in rapid succession in a ‘X’ shaped pattern that she felt sure must at least damage the contents.  

Reviewer’s Comments:

Structure:  The book is correctly formatted, and is well structured, using the language correctly and precisely.

Content:  The story tells of a terrorist attempt to precipitate a massive rock slifde into the Atlantic, in order to set off a huge tsunami and destroy the eastern seaboard of the United States.  A pair of Home Guard officers detect the attempt and set about stopping it, while awaiting assistance from the United States Military.  The story ranges from Miami, through Algeciras and Barcelona, Ramstein and Munich, to La Palma in the Canary Islands.  It flows seamlessly from one event to the next, without any stretching of credibility, and always with action.

Reviewer’s Comments: 

Tsunami tells of the possible consequence of a terrorist group using a known situation, one that exists now and could easily materialize an event considerably more destructive than the 9/11 attack on the US.  There does not seem to be any surveillance of this danger, as there certainly should be.  The story is both possible and credible, as well as being exciting and well-written.  Nicole Stuart is an expert in turning a warning of a dire threat into a credible and entertaining novel.  If you believe that there are people out there who wish to harm Western civilization, this book is a must-read!

Karin B

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