Du Brul (Havoc, 2006, etc.) moves from co-writing Clive Cussler books back to his own intrepid geologist, Philip Mercer, for another adventure where science meets special ops.
Roland D’Avejan, chief of green-energy mega-corporation Eurodyne, covets rare crystals that attract lightning—and may be able to manipulate Earth’s climate. He’ll kill to get them. Prospecting geologist and mining engineer Mercer stumbles into D’Avejan’s conspiracy when his mentor, professor Jacobs, is murdered during a cosmic ray climatology study at Minnesota’s Leister Deep mine. What follows is action piled upon action, with Mercer a target for bombs or bullets during a Mississippi River flood, in Afghanistan tribal badlands, and aboard a converted Russian research ship. In the process, Mercer discovers the location of Amelia Earhart’s lost aircraft and revisits Herbert Hoover’s mining career. Du Brul works magic with action and descriptions, whether it’s Old Man River washing away houses and cars or in Afghanistan’s desolate mountains where danger comes from AK-47s or altitude sickness. He assigns the crystals esoteric electrical properties, and Mercer discovers that a boxful were in Earhart’s aircraft, suggesting the minerals "would have warped Earhart’s radio transmissions." The science becomes more fictional when D’Avejan’s boffins engineer the crystals to beam "energy into the sky to raise the world’s average temperature." The adventure is laced with Du Brul’s own climate-change editorials, which only slightly slow down the slam-bang action.
"Climatology has been hijacked by politicians and environmental activists," and now by Du Brul. Add science fantasy, and it makes for good action-adventure.