ORCASPEAK by M. Ferguson Powers

ORCASPEAK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An action-packed environmental thriller that portrays the complexity of relationships and the effects of tragedy.

In Powers’ (Each Unique and Fascinating, 2012) newest novel, Ben and Frances Singleton own and operate OrcaSpeak, an orca-protection organization based in the Pacific Northwest. Although the Singletons are in love, their grueling work hours and financial stress have taken a toll on their relationship. Frances befriends gorgeous Selena Campbell, an aquatic biologist, at a fertility clinic and believes Selena and her boyfriend, another marine biologist, would make for a good alliance with OrcaSpeak. Frances arranges a meeting between OrcaSpeak members and the scientists, but she fails to attend when her path crosses that of Donal Hopkins, a longtime member of an environmental-protection group. After losing his family a year ago in a tragic accident during a protest, Donal joined the group’s new Special Operations Unit, which conducts radical missions designed to raise awareness of environmental issues. He does it to honor his family’s sacrifice, but his guilt and grief blind him to the dangerousness of the activist group, which tasks Donal with setting off fireworks on a passenger ferry during rush hour. For this ill-fated publicity stunt, he brings his guileless cousin, Roddy Jones, to help him. Predictably, the mission goes awry, and Donal, whose van stalls at an inopportune time, ends up stealing Frances’ car and kidnapping her in the process. What ensues is a dangerous adventure involving OrcaSpeak and the scientists; Donal and his unwitting accomplices; and the potentially violent activist group. While the tale could be trimmed, the plot speeds along, and the characters have interesting back stories that shape the way they approach their lives and each other. As the drama unfolds, Powers skillfully shows how each person handles loss, either real or perceived.

An unusual tale that combines environmentalism and action-adventure.  

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0615656007
Page count: 476pp
Publisher: Whidbey Publishing LLC
Program: Kirkus Indie
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