The S.S. John Bury shuddered from bow to stern as it plowed through the rolling waters of the Indian Ocean. She was known as a “fast freighter,” designed to accompany warships and used to traveling at a decent clip, but with all boilers going full out the John Bury was moving at a pace she hadn’t seen since her sea trials. Damaged, burning, and trailing smoke, the John Bury was running for her life.
The ship crested a ten-foot wave, the deck pitched down and the bow dug into another swell. A wide swath of spray kicked up over the rail and whipped back across the deck, rattling what was left of the shattered bridge.
Topside, the John Bury was a mangled wreck. Smoke poured from twisted metal where rockets had pounded the superstructure. Debris littered the deck, and dead crewmen lay everywhere. But the damage was above the waterline, and the fleeing ship would survive if it avoided any more hits.
On the dark horizon behind, smoke poured from other vessels that had been less fortunate. An orange fireball erupted from one, flashing across the water and briefly illuminating the carnage.
The burning hulks of four ships could be seen, three destroyers and a cruiser, ships that had been the John Bury’s escort. A Japanese submarine and a squadron of dive-bombers had found them simultaneously. As dusk approached, oil burned around the sinking vessels in a mile-long slick. It fouled the sky with dense black smoke. None of them would see the dawn.
The warships had been targeted and destroyed quickly, but the John Bury had only been strafed, hit with rockets and left to run free. There could be only one reason for that mercy; the Japanese knew of the top secret cargo she carried and they wanted it for themselves.
Captain Alan Pickett was determined not to let that happen, even with half his crew dead and his face gashed by shrapnel. He grabbed the voice tube and shouted down to the engine room.
“More speed!” he demanded.
There was no response. At last report a fire had been raging belowdecks. Pickett had ordered his men to stay and fight it, but now the silence left him gripped with fear.
“Zekes off the port bow!” a lookout called from the bridge wing. “Two thousand feet and dropping.”
Pickett glanced through the shattered glass in front of him. In the failing light he saw four black dots wheeling in the gray sky and dropping toward the ship. Flashes lit from their wings.
“Get down!” he shouted.
Too late. Fifty caliber shells stitched a line across the ship, cutting the lookout in half and blasting apart what was left of the bridge. Shards of wood, glass and steel flew about the compartment.
Pickett hit the deck. A wave of heat flashed over the bridge as another rocket hit ahead of it. The impact rocked the ship, peeling back the metal ceiling like a giant can opener.
As the wave of destruction passed, Pickett looked up. The last of his officers lay dead, the bridge was demolished. Even the ship’s wheel was gone, with only a stub of metal still attached to the spindle. Yet somehow the vessel chugged on.
Copyright © 2012 by Sandecker, RLLLP
As head of the U.S. National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), Kurt Austin is no stranger to those who seek to exploit the world's resources. But in The Storm he may have met his match against a ruthless villain with the power to destroy nations.
In the middle of the Indian Ocean, a NUMA research vessel is taking water samples when a crew member spots an expanding sheen of black oil. But it is not oil. Like a horde of insects, this swarm of mysterious black particles attacks the ship, killing everyone aboard.
After hearing the news, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala rush to the disaster site. What they find there on the smoldering hulk of the ship will lead them to eccentric inventor Elwood Marchetti, his army of robots and a movable island. But Marchetti is just the tip of the iceberg as Austin discovers someone is using his micro-robots in the most audacious scheme NUMA has ever encountered: a plan to permanently alter the weather on a global scale, forcing nations to pay any price for survival. It will kill millions. . .and it has already begun.
Filled with the boundless invention unique to Clive Cussler, this is one of the most thrilling novels yet from the grand master of adventure.
Hardcover Book : 416 pages
Publisher: Penguin Putnam, Inc. ( May 29, 2012 )
Item #: 13-597226
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.94inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I'm still impressed at the transition to a new co-writer for this series. Graham Brown is good on his own and seems to be a good fit for this series. NUMA books are full of imagination and likable characters. Love the series.
The book is a usual Clive Cussler. It grabs you and then you have to read to the end. There is not a lot of gore in Cussler's books so you can read it through the night and it doesn't affect the way you sleep.
Story moved right along. Very exciting. Truly was a page turner!