May 31, 2011

Zero Time by Jack Anderson

Title:  Zero Time
Author:  Jack Anderson
Format:  PB
Pages:  507
Genre:  Thriller
Publisher:  Zebra, 1993
ISBN-13:  978-0821740873
Series:  Stand Alone

Favorite Quote:  During his days as a prisoner of the Iranian terrorists, Hassan Kamateh had seen in their single-minded obsessiveness all that he had feared and rejected in the recent history of his homeland -- the perversion of religious fervor into a violent elitism, the warping of a message of love and faith into vengeful killing.

Synopsis (Back Cover):  There is nothing unusual about farmland foreclosures in America's heartland...unless you knew the small rural bank doing the foreclosing had just been bought by an international investment company called IBZ -- and that it was reclaiming all the land surrounding a large U.S. nuclear storage site.  Luke Cameron's father knew -- and he suddenly turned up dead -- and Luke found himself catapulted into a nerve-shattering international scramble to stop an army of terrorists from striking the world's most powerful nations where they were most vulnerable -- from the inside.  Time was growing short for no time at all it would be...ZERO TIME

Review:  This was a classic espionage thriller, reminiscent of  Tom Clancy.  Written before 9/11, it may have seemed far-fetched at the time, but now it seemed all too realistic.  Major players of the times were in the novel -- George Bush (the first one, not the second one) plays a fairly large role as the President of the United States; Khomeini is still in power in Iran; and Gorbachev is mentioned.  The KGB is in full swing and glasnost still dicey at best.  The FBI, CIA, DOE and all the rest of the alphabet soup people are at their best (and worst).

The idea of a nuclear weapon on American soil isn't a new one.  Clancy did it.  I'm sure others have as well.  But this novel had some really original characters and plot twists.  I loved Al Trautman, the special investigator for the Energy Department who is a retired intelligence agent.  He is completely believable and his no-nonsense approach makes for a good bit of fun.  The main character, Luke, is a fine example of the average American man, but he isn't half as interesting as Al.

Stories like these seem to hit me harder now than they did back in the 90's.  I can't be sure if it's due to my own aging or due to 9/11 or both.  It really doesn't matter.  I was completely caught up in the story and couldn't put it down.  Using real life people to populate the story only made it seem more real.  The 500+ pages whizzed by.  All around, a great story.

Rating:  9 / 10

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back to Top