Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shadow Zone-Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

Shadow Zone
Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen
St. Martin’s, Jul 20 2010, $26.00
ISBN: 9780312611606

Morinth was a technologically advanced city that sunk to the bottom of the sea, but was recently found. People like submersible designer Hannah Bryson are mapping the city, which has been beautifully preserved. They could see from the city’ design and architecture how the people had a magnificent culture as art especially statues are found. They obtain enough information to determine what living was like in Morinth, but what remains unknown is why the city sunk.

The researchers find a patch of algae on the perimeter that does not seem to be anywhere else. When cultivated, it grows at an extraordinary pace, which unless stopped will overcome all living things in the sea. They also locate an odd artifact, a trellis that explains how the pollution mixed with the algae left the islanders without a food source. The algae called TK 44 can be a weapon of mass destruction worth millions to arms dealer Vincent Gadaire who plans to harvest the algae in order to sell it to the highest bidder. Hanah with the help of Nicholas Kirkov plan to prevent the insane scheme.

The Johansen mother-son team has written an exhilarating thriller that grabs reader attention early and maintains it throughout. The characters are fully developed especially the heroine who is a combo of beauty, brains and brawn. Hannah obsesses over preserving Morinth and saving the world. Gadaire plays an enthralling cat and mouse game with Hannah while Kirkov is an enigmatic individual. Readers will enjoy this timely somewhat over the top environmental thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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