PINNACLE EVENT by Richard A. Clarke


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A fast-moving international thriller by the counterterrorism expert and author of Sting of the Drone (2014).

In a remote region of the Indian Ocean, a “Pinnacle Event” occurs—a nuclear explosion. Then, in five different countries, five men suffer violent deaths after having received a half billion dollars each. Virgin Islands bartender and former U.S. intelligence expert Ray Bowman is called out of retirement, and he learns that someone has sold five nuclear weapons—but to whom? And why? To find answers, he teams up with Mbali Hlanganani, a South African woman who is the director of Special Security Services. The men killed were all “Trustees,” remnants of the white South African defense establishment, and Bowman thinks they might have sold the bombs. Bullets start flying around Bowman as more people die. But the bigger problem is the missing nukes South Africa was supposed to have destroyed. In the U.S., a presidential election is fast approaching. Maybe there's a plot to blow up an American city and throw the election into complete chaos. Or maybe the target is Israel. The bombs may be enhanced with “tritium boosters” to make them far more powerful, “enough tritium to blow Israel to the moon.” The story’s settings change rapidly around the world as Bowman and Hlanganani feverishly try to stop a threat when they don’t even know the target. Bowman doubts the bad guys are “a bunch of Luddites who wanted to throw the world into reverse,” but then what is their plan? A series of strange real estate purchases further complicates the mystery. A complex and well-executed plot that speculates on what happened to the nuclear weapons South Africa said it destroyed: readers won’t easily see where this one’s headed.

Thriller lovers no longer need the USSR and the Cold War for a scary-good story—just lose track of a few A-bombs for an exciting and all-too-plausible novel.

Pub Date: May 19th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-250-04798-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2015


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