BLOWOUT by David Hagberg


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A blistering thriller from Dorgan, a former congressman and senator for North Dakota, and Hagberg, a former U.S. Air Force cryptographer.

In North Dakota, a top-secret project called The Dakota District Initiative seeks to prove the viability of converting coal into pollution-free energy. The key is bacteria that literally can be taught to eat a coal seam and generate massive quantities of methane. As a result, America would break its dependence on oil for hundreds of years. Geopolitics would never be the same. OPEC nations would lose revenue and power, so one of them decides The Initiative must be destroyed. The job calls for a maniac, and that means Barry Egan of the Posse Comitatus. He will earn a lot of money if he can destroy the project’s test facility, but the killing along the way seems a task he’d gladly take on for free. It’s a tough old world, Egan continually says, usually as he’s putting a slug in someone’s head. Luckily, the good guys are brave and smart, like Sheriff Nate Osborne, a Medal of Honor winner with a titanium leg. The story begins with a failed attack on the facility, followed by a far more deadly attempt. The science behind the project may be no more than the authors’ imaginations—who knows?—but single-celled coal-eaters make a plausible basis for the yarn. If there is one minor quibble, it’s with the comic-book characterizations: The bad guys are all bad and the good guys (and gals) are all good. There is a thread of romance that adds a little dimension, but nothing that titillates the senses. This book is all about good vs. evil (read: us vs. them), with plenty of action and narrow escapes.

An enjoyable and fast-moving tale that will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next one.


Pub Date: March 27th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2737-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2012


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