Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Protocol Zero by James Abel

Published in 2015, I found this in a free bin at the local library last year.  Read it with fascination in March-April.  Never have read anything else by this author.  This paperback of uncorrected proof for limited distribution is 356 pages.  It is a different intrigue, horrifying at times with the main character,  USMarine doctor and bioterrorism expert, Colonel Joe Rush.  Based in Arctic Alaska, Barrow and the northern slope environmental concerns, natives in conflict with  the  visiting scientists and an apocalyptic plague kept me turning the pages.  Opening sentences:  "The police chief's emergency call had to bounce off three satellites to reach me.  The first --  over Russia-- was snapping photos of their paratroops by the North Pole, on maneuvers.  The second--over Arctic Canada-- watched a US attack submarine testing weapons, surfacing in ice.  The last one was directly overhead above northern Alaska.  North Slope Police Chief Merlin Toovik's voice came in loud and clear from nine miles away.  " I need help, Colonel"  I stood, breath frosting at the end of North america on a twenty foot high grass bluff overlooking the Arctic Ocean, a Mossberg shotgun over my back, in case polar bears showed up.  Fire in the air, they usually turn away."   4**** only because  some of the more technical terms and bloodiness were  frustrating to me.  But I never guessed what was really going on and  felt this would be an outstanding movie.