Deep drilling in the North Atlantic brings discovery of considerably greater interest than the usual crude oil.
Summoned mysteriously, Peter Crane, an ex-naval physician between jobs, is dropped off by helicopter on an oil rig in the turbulent seas somewhere between Greenland and Iceland, where he learns, after signing reams of secrecy pledges, that the rig has been taken over by a joint American military-scientific task force. The action is not on the platform itself in this latest almost-sci-fi novel from Child, whose 2004 thriller Death Match also flirted with the fantastic, but in an elaborate research station housed in a hemisphere miles under the ocean’s surface, where spooks and scientists have gathered to plumb mysteries revealed when the rig’s previous owners started bringing up bits and pieces of something that shouldn’t be there. Crane is told that the huge top-secret lab is sitting on the top of the lost continent of Atlantis, and that he’s gotten the call because of his expert knowledge of diving ailments. A shockingly large number of the lab’s employees have turned up with a wide variety of serious physical and mental illnesses. Teaming with unfriendly Dr. Michelle Bishop, Crane pokes and prods the patients and plows into the medical evidence. But as he gets closer to a diagnosis, he also observes what’s going on in the station, where security and secrecy are way out of proportion to an archaeological dig. It becomes evident that the legend of pre-historic Atlantis is just that, a legend. The elaborate setup and the continued drilling all have something to do with a cataclysmic event 600 years earlier, an event that threatens the earth today even as a saboteur threatens the underwater lab.
Mildly chilling techno-thriller.