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Publisher: Delacorte Press
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About this title
In his spellbinding new novel, oceanographer James Powlik combines cutting-edge science with a storyteller's gift for drama. A heart-pounding action thriller, races across the frozen expanse of the Arctic Ocean as a team of scientists fights to stop a radioactive plague--and a deadly mystery beneath the sea.
Dr. Carol Harmon has taken her environmental research vessel, the, deep into one of the most forbidding places in the world, the ceaselessly shifting Arctic ice scape. When two of her crew are ravaged by what appears to be radiation poisoning, Carol needs help fast--so she calls on the person she trusts most.
Brock Garner is an oceanographer, a former Naval officer, and a man who has never quite stopped loving his ex-wife, Carol. Answering her call from across the globe, Brock flies from one ice-bound pole to the other. But by the time Garner arrives, a frightening scenario is taking shape: Deep beneath the ice, something is leaking deadly radiation. Worse yet, the greatest danger the global seas have ever faced may be only part of a bigger cataclysm. A disaster of untold proportions is looming--the world's first man-made Ice Age. A life-and-death battle is about to be unleashed...not just for the Arctic, but for the very future of Earth.
Brilliantly imagined, unfailingly gripping, is a taut, action-packed adventure infused with real-life science. A novel that crackles with spine-tingling authenticity, it is a thrilling, rollicking roller coaster of a read.
The clouds parted and the black surface of the Arctic Ocean came into view.
Before the plane stretched the long corridor of water opened by the vessels, flanked on either side by fractured pieces of floating ice.
"What the hell is?" one of the flight engineers suddenly said. He pointed toward the sea roughly half the distance to the horizon.
Then the others saw it: a distortion in the surface. Seconds later, the sea itself rose up, flicking along its length like a carpet being shaken. The ocean rolled and exploded upward, flinging huge chunks of ice aside. For a moment, the water seemed suddenly to be speeding up at them, then just as suddenly it passed below, streaking to the east and falling away behind the bombers.
The captain thought he knew what he had seen, but could not fully com-prehend it. Then he thought of the ships below them and wondered if they could see the massive wall of water rising up from the ocean.
In the time it took him to reach for his radio, the damage was already done....
Dr. Carol Harmon is a bio-acoustic scientist and CEO of the Nolan Group, a worldwide consortium of consulting agencies founded by her second husband, now deceased. She has taken her research vessel, the Phoenix, deep into the Arctic Ocean to track and monitor marine mammals and to study the effects of shipping on the larger members of that group, most specifically blue whales.
What she finds is both distressing and exhilarating for a researcher: five huge blues frozen fast to the underside of an ice floe. What happens after two divers return from an exploratory foray beneath the ice is flat-out horrifying. Severe radiation sickness reduces the men to wriggling, blood-spewing wrecks in a matter of hours. The fact is that the entire region is radioactive to the point of being cooked, and as the arctic spring turns to summer, that hot ice will start to flow and likely bring about the first man-made ice age unless it's checked.
Fortunately for Carol, Dr. Brock Garner, Carol's first ex and a world-class oceanographer in his own right, is but a radio call away. Nolan Group jets are dispatched and in short order Brock and his massive Ukrainian research assistant, Sergei Zubov, are on the Phoenix and on the case. Meltdown is James Powlik's second race-against-time-to-stop-global- environmental-disaster eco-technothriller. And as in 1999's Sea Change, the partnership works handily.
With scientific and environmental technospeak galore (a drop too much, actually) and enough back-stabbing, political dirty-dealing, and military intrigue both foreign and domestic to fill a book twice its size, Meltdown will please Powlik's growing number of followers, Tom Clancy fans, and most anyone with a taste for fast-paced, fact-laced excitement. --Michael Hudson
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