The "New York Times" bestselling author of "Barracuda 945" is back with his most shocking "what if" scenario yet: a terrorist hatches a bold plan to blow up a volcano and devastate America.
Ravi Rashood, the arch-villain of Robinson's 2003 adventure, Barracuda 945, returns for another round with Adm. Arnold Morgan, national security adviser for the former U.S. president, a militaristic Republican. Rashood and Morgan's showdown takes on some of the aura of the Holmes/Moriarty duel Rashood has even named his new submarine Barracuda II thanks, in part, to Robinson's rather plummy prose; not even Clive Cussler would have a character utter "Streuth" as an expletive. At 64, the crusty Morgan has earned his retirement and married his longtime love (and longer-time secretary), Kathy O'Brien. The recently elected Democratic president, "peacenik" Charles McBride, has little use for Morgan's services; Morgan's sidelining gives Hamas General Rashood the opening he needs to hatch another nefarious plot. Robinson builds the story's tension slowly; the lesser lights newly installed in federal security positions are slow to put together the pieces of seemingly unrelated events including the murder of the world's leading geophysicist in London and the surprising eruption of Mount St. Helens. Rashood's plan, which tangentially includes evergreen Western foes Russia, North Korea and China, involves triggering an apocalyptic mega-tsunami via volcanic eruptions caused by a nuclear-tipped guided cruise missile launched from the aforementioned Barracuda... whew! Robinson's full-bodied, measured prose has a retro feel, and his narrative, studded with informative historical and political tidbits, turns every new setting into its own short story. Agent, Ed Victor. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 30, 2005
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Excerpt from Scimitar SL-2 by Patrick Robinson
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The White House, Washington, D.C.
The brand-new Democratic Administration, fresh from a narrow election victory, was moving into the West Wing. With the exception of the President, who knew he was going anyway at the end of his second term, every hour of every day was a trauma for the outgoing Republicans. For the big hitters of the military and government, handing over the reins to what most of them believed to be a bunch of naive, inexperienced, half-assed limousine liberals led by an idealistic young President from Rhode Island, who would have been pushed to hold down a proper executive job ' well, anywhere ' was appalling.
And today was probably the worst day of all. Adm. Arnold Morgan, the retiring President's National Security Adviser, was about to leave the White House for the last time. His big nineteenth-century Naval desk had already been cleared and removed, and now there were only a few good-byes left. The door to his office was wide open, and the Admiral, accompanied by his alarmingly beautiful secretary Kathy O'Brien, was ready to go. In attendance was the Secretary of State Harcourt Travis; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Tim Scannell; the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Alan Dickson; the Director of the National Security Agency, Adm. George Morris; and Morris's personal assistant, Lt. Comdr. James Ramshawe, American by birth, with Australian parents.
As the great man took his leave, they all stood in a small "family" huddle, veterans in the last half-dozen years of some of the most brutal secret operations ever conducted by the United States Military. Their devotion to Arnold had grown from the series of great triumphs on the international stage due, almost entirely, to the strengths of the Admiral's intellect.
Like Caesar, Admiral Morgan was not lovable ' except to Kathy ' but his grasp of international politics, string-pulling, poker-playing, threats and counterthreats, Machiavellian propaganda, and the conduct of restricted, classified military operations was second to none. At all of the above he was a virtuoso, driven by an unbending sense of patriotism. During his reign in the West Wing he intimidated, cajoled, outwitted, and bullied some of the most powerful men on earth. His creed was to fight and fight, and never to lower his blade short of victory. Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Gen. George Patton were his heroes. And now the Admiral was departing, leaving his Washington confi- dants devastated, convinced that another heaven and another earth must surely pass before such a man could be again.
Many of the high-ranking civilians would themselves go within a few short weeks of the incoming Democrats, but none so utterly ignominiously as Admiral Morgan himself. Called on the telephone by a Miss Betty-Ann Jones, a Southern liberal who had never been to Washington, he was told, "President McBride thinks it would be better if y'all resigned raht now, since he dun't think you and he's gonna get along real well."