A revised and updated anti-nuclear thriller--set in the near future--which first appeared as a 1971 paperback, Ground Zero Man. Obscure defense researcher Lucas Hutchman, in a moment of genius, stumbles upon a means to explode nuclear weapons at a distance. So, as Damascus is vaporized by an unattributed terrorist nuclear-bomb, Hutchman conceives a plan to end nuclear war forever: he builds his device, then sends the plans to prominent politicians and scientists all over the world--along with a deadline stating when he will activate the device. But honest, likable Hutchman's troubles are only just beginning--what with his wife's unreasonable jealousies and suspicions, his near-disastrous involvement with the police (he accidentally kills a communist agent). So Hutchman does his naive best to disappear; assorted pursuers catch up with him just as the deadline expires. And finally he discovers that all his efforts have been in vain: he has overlooked a simple (though expensive) modification that protects existing bombs against his device--so the nuclear nightmare will continue unabated. Well-drawn characters, thoughtful development, and reasonably tense, believable action: a decided improvement on the predictable and rather silly Fire Pattern (1984).