Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Francis Hamit's Latest Brings Memories of Chernobyl But With Thrilling Perfect Ending!

The nuclear reactor after the disaster. Reactor 4 (center). Turbine building (lower left). Reactor 3 (center right).Chernobyl Disaster
"What’s the job, then?”
“Go out, look it over, see what they need and help them implement it or decide that it should be passed by. The usual.”
 “What’s the target?” Anspach looked doubtful.
 “Nuclear power plant. We want it shut down or destroyed. Maybe take it over and hold hostages. Some dump back East called Indian Springs.” He leaned back in his chair. “I weary of us saying much and doing nothing. So does our financier. He’s grumbled. I think the old fart is only staying alive so he can see the country ruined. To that end, I can shift truckloads of equipment and about a hundred dedicated ‘patriot’s to this operation if you approve it.” Anspach made quote marks with his fingers.
Steele leaned forward and spoke very softly in Russian. “Tell me, Vladimir Petrovich, do you ever think about just going home and putting all this behind you?”
Anspach looked at him, shocked. “The mission...”
“The country is gone, and I don’t like what has replaced it. If we went back, they’d put us on our knees and a bullet in our head. We are condemned to die here. But, truly, Gospodin, what it the point of all of this? We’re fighting for a corpse.”
  Anspach smiled grimly, “The GRU lives, Sergei Leonovich, and we are still its officers.” He raised his almost empty glass in a toast, “Rodina, the homeland, and revenge on the Capitalists.”
Steele shook his head, and switched to English. “It’s a mad plan, Benjamin.”
 “My old Rabbi would think so,”
Anspach agreed as he poured more whisky for both of them. He raised his glass in a toast, “The revolution.” “The revolution,” Steele said and drained the glass.


By Francis Hamit

I had to smile at the beginning sentence of the blurb on this book: "A novel, set in a slightly alternative universe (for security reasons) about a terrorist attack by so-called Patriot militia on a nuclear power plant someplace in the United States between the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building and the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001." Sorry Franc
The Philippsburg nuclear power plant, in Germa...
"He turned up the volume. ...
 fast breaking story, folks.
We have an unconfirmed report that the
Indian Springs Nuclear power plant,
which has been the scene of some demonstrations
 this summer, now seems to be under armed attack.
 We have no further information at this time,
but will do our best to keep you informed.
We now return to our regular programming.”
 Campbell reached over and turned the radio off and
 they rode on, in silence for a long moment.
One of the guards whistled softly. “Daddy,
 can we go home now?” another said in a half-mocking
child’s voice."
is... So, I'll just start again in my own words...~

Francis Hamit has created an exceptionally revealing and detailed alternative historical novel about our Power Plants! We all know they are there and that they are or could be dangerous. However, I was grateful to have this opportunity to go inside. If power plants are dangerous, it probably is because of the people in this world as opposed to the facility and its process. That is, if they are run as this one is!

I recently learned that the plant near my home is shutting down due to new coal regulations. This stung me in several ways; namely that my relatives work in coal mines...but, more intimately, because Columbia Gas has taken equipment, preventing me from having gas--and there is no way in the area to acquire gas service! Government decisions can be soooo blind, can't they?! Anyway...

I've read two of Hamit's books previously and loved both of them: The Queen of Washington and The Shenandoah Spy. However, this is a much more complex thriller which should draw many readers due to content. Everybody remembers Chernobyl and other incidents and would never wish any repeated...not in Russia or anywhere.

But some of the people in Russia still want to continue their revolution. What do they do? They find those Americans who believe they know what is best and call themselves Patriots... And then teach them that they need to destroy in order to be patriotic...Duh...

The problem was that they were very organized, well-trained, and had plenty of resources!

English: WWER-1000 (also VVER-1000 as a direct...
English: WWER-1000 (also VVER-1000 as a direct translitteration from Russian ВВЭР-1000). WWER-1000 (Water-Water Energetic Reactor, 1000 megawatt electric power) is a russian energetic nuclear reactor of PWR type (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When he looked back, Maria was making notes again, her fingers clicking away on the tiny keyboard. She had a “road warrior” crouch that told him she did this a lot. As pretty as she was, she was no lightweight. 
"O’Hara grimaced briefly as he saw the oddly painted purple utility truck top the rise of the hill. He turned and told Casey to go get the bullhorn from the guard shack. As the truck drove up to the line of chanting demonstrators, their voices quieted. 
“Hey, it’s Berger,” said one of them, a local boy. “How’ya doin’, Jimmy?” 
Well-known to everyone in Indian Springs, Jimmy leaned out of the window and grinned. 
“It’s cool, Shawn. How ‘bout you?” Julie, she of the short shorts and dynamite tan, leaned in the other window. 
“Hey, Jimmy, whyn’t you come out and play?” she teased, and favored him with a devastating smile. Her eyes sparkled with expectations. He regarded her blonde loveliness with open approval. His eyes fixed on the erect nipples beneath the thin jersey of her top. It was a deliberate tease. 
“Why, I’d love to, Julie, honey, but I gotta work now. Maybe later?” The difference in their ages did not bother him. Most
of his girlfriends in recent years had been a decade or three younger. The politics did. He knew her for a tease. He wondered how far she’d take this flirtation. 
"She continued to smile but spoke seriously, “Ah, no, Jimmy.
 You’re the enemy, ya know.” 
"Berger grunted, frowning, Of course, he thought. 
“Sorry you feel that way. You’re the kind of girl my 
Grandmother is always warning me about. 
I like that in a person. But I don’t play these games. 
Politics bores me.”

Superphenix, Nuclear power plant of Creys-Malv...
Superphenix, Nuclear power plant of Creys-Malville, Isère, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quite a bit of the book shows the many practices they do for emergencies and the ongoing training to keep them alert and prepared.

Hamit has taken readers into a place where we may never be able to visit...and helps us understand how security is the highest priority not only for people but for the plant itself.

How I wish there were not people who are willing to do terrorist acts against their own countries, but that is not what we see in today's world, is it?

Still, when an author not only takes us into our headlines but makes it an educational experience while keeping us tense and in suspense as to what will happen, then many kudos go to that type of author, in my opinion! The attack is exciting as well as fun due to the characters... I loved this one! Highly recommended!


I am a novelist and playwright. I am also a journalist with over 1,000 published articles, reviews, essays, op-eds, and other non fiction published in the last 40 years. I have a background in Military Intelligence and write fiction and drama about people in military, intelligence and similar occupations. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. 
I am a member of the Military Writers Society of America, the Association for Intelligence Officers, The Historical Novel Society and the Military Writers Society of America. I have attended more than 100 science fiction conventions and am often a panelist. I am the co-owner of Brass Cannon Books and a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop (Fiction).
I contribute a lot to other people's blogs. I served in the US Army Security Agency for four years, in Vietnam and then Germany. I spent 21 years in the Security industry which provides some of the background for MELTDOWN.

My produced stage plays are MARLOWE: An Elizabethan Tragedy and Memorial Day. My novel "The Shenandoah Spy" has received over a dozen favorable reviews. My latest novels are "The Queen of Washington" and "MELTDOWN".

We have begun creating audiobooks through ACX.com which will be available on Amazon.com, iTunes and Audible.com. The first four short ones are available now.

A film version of my play about Christopher Marlowe is in pre-production and a "The Shenandoah Spy" is slated to become either a major motion picture or television mini-series in 2014 or 2015.

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