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HAVOC by Jack Du Brul

HAVOC

By Jack Du Brul

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 2006
ISBN: 0-525-94882-1
Publisher: Dutton

The meeting of a gorgeous nuclear emergency tech and a rugged, rich geologist leads to romance and the tomb of Alexander the Great, who appears to have joined the Nuclear Club two thousand years before it was formed.

Philip Mercer, a veteran of previous Du Brul adventures (Charon’s Landing, 1999, etc.), is the geologist with a broken heart (but a fully functioning truck) who appears on the scene in the midst of revolutionary chaos in the Central African Republic, where someone has shot out the tires on the Land Rover that was supposed to take redheaded Cali Stowe, her Geiger counter and her lusciously ripe lips to a backwater village where everyone dies of birth defects. Mercer is mourning his girlfriend, who died months ago, but he can’t help noticing those swarm-of-bees-stung lips, those freckles and that deep-red hair . . . besides, it’s common courtesy to offer a lift when revolutionary forces are shooting up the countryside. Wouldn’t you know, guerillas show up in the village before Cali can get any blood samples—if, indeed, that’s the real reason she was there. About to be shot by firing squad, Cali and Mercer are saved by mysterious, black-clad warriors who wipe out the revolutionaries but fail to kill their cruel, oversized European mercenary-consultant. Poli is a blackguard who will plague the handsome couple once they make it back to Washington and begin a trail of discovery that leads to the Hindenburg disaster and a very nervous passenger running from the Nazis with a safe full of secrets that he drops overboard before the dirigible destructs. Solving various mysteries will take our hero and heroine to the Upper Nile via southern Russia and Atlantic City. This jut-jawed, action-overstuffed adventure gets some not-very-comic relief from Mercer’s octogenarian pal Harry, who comes complete with cute basset hound.

Lays on the action with a trowel.