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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Impact by Douglas Preston

Impact by Douglas Preston

The U.S. government sends mercenary Wyman Ford on a mission to locate a secret Cambodian mine, the source of some unusual gemstones. These gemstones have never been seen before and they are getting high prices but they are costing people even more dearly than they realize. It seems they are radioactive. He finds the mine alright, but the people forced to work the mine are dying from the radioactive stones. He decides not only to fill out his report but to close the mine down little realizing that wasn't what our government wanted.

In Maine, Abbey Straw has dropped out of college against her hardworking fisherman father's wishes losing the tuition money he paid for. All she's interested in is smoking pot, getting drunk and astrology. She and her friend are out partying on the night that a meteor is seen streaking across the sky. With her new telescope she is even able to get a photograph. Although everyone says it must have hit the ocean, she knows it didn't because there were no shock waves. She triangulates her information to deduce that it hit on one of five islands so she and her party friend sneak out on her father's boat to find it so they can sell pieces of the meteor on ebay. But it's not what she thinks!

In California, scientist Jason Freeman sends co-worker, Mark Corso, a classified hard drive that he stole from where they work. The National Propulsion Facility is studying Mars but Jason has stumbled on something that could rock our world, literally! Jason is killed before he can explain anything to Mark, a researcher with the Mars Mapping Orbiter (MMO) project at the NPF. But Mark does get his package and soon realizes what Freeman was so excited about.

These 3 storylines intersect and the good guys win. There is a unique twist on the last page that was intriguing. Otherwise, this wasn't a favorite of mine. I've read all of his books and the books he co-authors with Lincoln Child and usually love them. This one left me flat. I didn't like the characters. The story seemed implausible to me. I think a meteor hit like he describes would have been heard around the world, if you know what I mean. It would be a good enough read for a beach read or a plane trip but wasn't up to his normal quality.

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