Thawed! by Lawrence De Maria. 175 pages. Kindle E-book $2.99. Cole Sudden C.I.A. Thrillers Book 3.
Not many novels open at research stations in Siberia, but Mr. De Maria makes his initial scene on the frozen tundra of Siberia a vivid attention-getter. We first meet Vadim Bylinkin, the Russian helicopter pilot who ferries supplies and contraband to the isolated super-frozen arctic stations. At a particular station, world-changing research is underway under the leadership of Grigor Rusayev. A joke about “Tundra Dick” sets the tone as Grigor drools over Katarina, the red-haired botanist on the research team. But what’s going on here is more serious. The lead scientist has brought to life (or something like life) an extinct virus locked in permafrost for 30,000 years. A virus that can be weaponized.
The Russian military investigates after the research station suffers a disaster, but those who are after the virus turn out to be highly capable and totally dedicated Islamic terrorists who have infiltrated the Russian operation.
Meanwhile, at the Philadelphia Naval Business Center, the ever resourceful and of often sarcastic Cole Sudden is buffing up his second career as a novelist. Being a roguish CIA agent is clearly not enough for him. How far he can go with his Jake Harms mysteries without risking his hidden identity is an open question. The facility where he is meeting with CIA colleague Nigel Buss hides an agency team of assassins. That’s why Cole is there. They run activities best kept away from the headquarters campus in Langley, Virginia.
By establishing Cole as a novelist, Mr. De Maria can play games with his readers. The ways in which Cole Sudden’s writing career mirrors that of his creator makes for a lot of insider fun.
When readers discover that Grigor Rusayev is sharing information with two French scientists associated with the University of Marseilles, they will wonder about the consequences of an obviously illegal partnership.
The Russian military is sent into action after something goes horribly wrong at the research station. The disaster is first witnessed by Bylinkin from the air. Moscow assumes the Siberian situation and the virus research is under control. However, Islamic fanatics have infiltrated the Russian enterprise with their own jihadist agenda. . . .
To read the entire review, as found in the November 9, 2016 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the November 10 Naples, Bonita Springs, Punta Gorda / Port Charlotte, Palm Beach Gardens / Jupiter, and Palm Beach / West Palm Beach editions, click here: Florida Weekly – Thawed!