CATEGORY 7 by Bill Evans


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Megalomaniac billionaire schemes to unleash hell via hurricane.

Take a healthy dose of the paranoid scenarios from 24 and governmental intrigues from The West Wing, then spike them liberally with the atmospheric minutia that armchair meteorologists know and love. What emerges might be strikingly similar to this clever debut from TV meteorologist Evans, here teaming with romance novelist Jameson (Big Trouble, not reviewed, etc.) to spin a fictional take on long-whispered conspiracy theories about weather as a clandestine weapon. The wizard behind the far-fetched plot is Carter Thompson, a folksy tycoon who plays both sides of Washington politics to further his own outlandish agenda. Using his nonprofit foundation as a front, the secretive industrialist has been amplifying storm cells in unstable areas using an aircraft-based laser beam. The resulting destruction makes good business for his infrastructure recovery firm Coriolis Engineering, dubbed by the press as “Halliburton with a heart.” When U.S. President Benson snubs his muddled advice on nuclear energy, Thompson concocts a scheme worthy of a cat-stroking James Bond villain. His plan: to intensify the already massive Hurricane Simone and point it directly at New York’s aging Indian Point nuclear power plant. The host of heroes countering the gathering storm include steely-eyed counter-terrorism expert Tom Taylor, earnest CIA forensic meteorologist Jake Baxter and Kate Sherman, a spunky, intuitive scientist who recognizes early that something is amiss with the current climate. This industrious group rallies behind a risky solution to dissipate the storm cell. Fast-paced storytelling and a credible portrayal of Simone’s chaotic effects mostly compensate for characters straight out of central casting.

A satisfying, albeit run-of-the-mill thriller about fooling with Mother Nature.

Pub Date: July 10th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-765-31735-3
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2007


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