MEDUSA'S CHILD by John J. Nance


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 Retired airline and Air Force pilot Nance improves steadily, this time borrowing from his own plot for Pandora's Clock (1995) but leaving out the romance. Former Navy pilot Scott McKay has started up his own airline for hauling air freight. Things are going well--until he discovers while in flight that a crate he's carrying holds an armed 20-megaton hydrogen bomb hitched to a deadly new device that will send out an electromagnetic shock wave. The wave's superpulse will turn every computer chip in the US into stone. Planes now aloft will be helpless, and the entire financial and banking system will collapse, bringing on worldwide chaos. All defense systems as well will destruct--and as many as a million people may die when the bomb goes off with the force of a hundred Hiroshimas. McKay discovers this horror while circling Washington, D.C., awaiting landing instructions. Will D.C. be wiped out and uninhabitable for a thousand years? McKay has two crew members on board and two passengers. One is Vivian Henry, whose late husband, a disgruntled defense physicist, created the bomb and sealed it into a steel case armed with sensors that will set it off should its case be tampered with. Simultaneously, the worst hurricane in recorded history is chewing up the East Coast like a titanic lawnmower. The other passenger is Doctor Linda McCoy, a hugely intelligent meteorologist just back from Antarctica and riding herd on some secret instruments of her own in the hold. Meanwhile, the FBI, the Air Force, defense experts, and the President try to get McKay to land so that bomb experts can dismantle the ticking bomb. McKay refuses- -the bomb is beyond dismantling--and heads out to sea into the storm. Then things get worse . . . . Nothing new, maybe, but a thriller that grips and absolutely doesn't let go. (First printing of 100,000)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-385-48343-0
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1996


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