Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen
St. Martin’s, Jul 2008, $24.95
It is her job as a marine architect to make sure the Russian nuclear sub Silent Thunder is clean so that it can be put on exhibit by the museum that purchased it once there are no booby traps or despicable items on board. Hannah Bryson works with her brother Connor on the scrub; he finds the strange metal plate with weird symbols on it. She leaves the sub to make a call to a CIA agent to inform him of the find, but while she is doing that someone gets insides and blows up Connor.
Livid, Hannah has no time to grieve as she learns that Agent Bradworth and Russian Nicolas Kirov used them as bait to trap crime lord Mr. Pavski, who killed the crew on the sub’s last voyage except for Kirov who wants revenge. The CIA wants to use her to get top secret information Pavski possesses about Putin’s Russia. Pavski is obsessed with finding the precious artifact the Golden Cradle because he believes it will give him more power. Hannah and Kirov team up to get Pavski because he killed people they loved.
Though a bit over the top, the Johansen mother and son team provide an exciting thriller that uses a touch of romance to relieve some of the stratospheric levels of tension. SILENT THUNDER is a superb cat and mouse caper with the bad guy and some of the so called good guys consistently changing the rules of the game to better fit their personal agendas. Hannah is a courageous but typical of the action thriller genre as a person who seeks vengeance for her brother’s murder and though she lacks the skills and it means placing her own life on the line; whereas Kirov is an enigmatic introvert who has plenty of experience surviving the dark side of life.