A Dangerous Element: Gregory S. Lamb
Colonel Mark Coolhand Reynolds is behind closed doors in a psych ward being given meds that will hopefully erase his memory. Many other combat soldiers both officers and enlisted men are among the patients in this hospital being given these drugs. Entering the halls you see them carrying a special project notebook having to add their thoughts and notes before begin allowed to leave their daily meeting. As each person leaves he/she is told to stand in line and get their meds. But, Mark is smart, realizes what is happening and hides the meds within his cheeks and never swallows anything. The year is 2011 the month is December as the story flashes back several years to where it all began. Just what does the government want him and others to forget? Why are they going to such lengths to keep these people you might say in captivity? What will happen if he finally escapes? A Dangerous Element is the work of retired USAF Colonel Gregory S. Lamb and will bring you up close and personal into Iran, its borders and smack in the middle of their nuclear weapons development program. Readers will learn just how they plan to develop the weapons, the materials used and how one Mossad agent and one Iranian scientist work together but for different reasons to help Iran become a nuclear power. An undercover and top-secret weapon, which was developed by DARPA, is an integral part of what is about to be revealed.
The Iranians have developed an nuclear enrichment program at Natanz, which Israel and the United States wants destroyed. An American covert operation to take it down goes bad when a virus that has been placed in the facility’s closed control network is found.
Former combat pilot, Colonel Mark “Coolhand” Reynolds holds the key to unraveling the cast of shady characters involved in the operation and cover up. In doing so, he becomes a target of another top-secret weapon developed by DARPA. With Iran threatening retribution and the start of a thermonuclear war, Coolhand doesn’t have time to fix things the right way.
Author Gregory S. Lamb, a retired USAF Colonel, has drawn upon a wealth of personal knowledge and experience to create this believable, contemporary, military thriller. With a strong protagonist, and interesting cast of support characters, Lamb takes the reader on a roller coaster ride involving a compromised US plot to disable Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities, an attempted government cover-up, and enough action and intrigue to make the book hard to put down.
Dr.Farrouck “Reza,” Khedem decided to enter a ten-kilometer event sponored by a group of runners from the University of Isfahan. Whether by accident, fate happenstance, he becomes friends with another runner named Heydar. A strong friendship ensued as they decided to workout together on a regular basis and a solid trust came about. But, who is friend really is and where he works provides a strong element of suspense for readers.
While their friendship developed Mark Reynolds was placed at Langley Air Force Base where hepresented of a program he created called FACE or Fighter Aircraft Communications Enhancement. Briefing in front of the Major General Glazer who welcomed him withaccolades for his work would send him to many bases all over the world.
Next we find Reza on the track with his new friend Heydar and as their friendship becomes stronger he explains the changes the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran is undergoing and temporarily moving his projects closer to the research and development nuclear reactor near the “Isfhan campus.” With his wife finally leaving Tehran, his life seeming on the right path Reza had no idea that that things were about to take a different turn. Heydar had his own agenda and working with the CIA and other agents his job was to find a way to infiltrate and learn how to control and command the Natanz facility. Learning the possibilities of point entry was vital and just how he hoped would come from his friend Reza. Discussing with his friend his role in Iran’s uranium enrichment techniques he hoped to come up with a plan that would destroy what ever the Iranians were doing and hopefully not get caught. But, others whom he thought were working with himwould soon learn were using him until the job was done. As we once again meet Snake or Wormwood his affiliation with him was limited and whose role lethal.
The catalyst for what would happen will surprise you and the technology used everyone wishes they had access too. Not everyone would notice changes in their computer codes or extra information flashing across their screens. Hiding in plain sight is someone close to the others and what happens is more than explosive.
A virus placed inside the computer network of an Iranian uranium facility and those responsible in the US government have to find a way to cover it up. Coolhand realizes that is might be the only one that can unravel this mess but first he needs to disappear, go off the radio and find a way to stop what the President of Iran has planned.
Finding his way from Afghanistan, Cyrus, Virginia and across the globe the author takes readers inside Natanz, in the mind of a rogue CIA agent named Snake, and allows us to see first hand the depths to which we will go to take down an adversary as you read Chapter 18 and learn exactly what others experienced when the virus hit. But, Mark finally escapes Bethesda and finds himself in need of help. But, just how Coolhand manages to evade his captures and find his way to some type of freedom is quite ingenious. Throwing up those that are trying to follow him and someone claiming to be his friend, just how will he manage to stay alive?
But, within every mission that goes wrong there is a scapegoat or someone that will be held responsible as Reza realizes an act of friendship that he thought was a wonderful kindness would be his downfall and much more. Hoping to find a way to escape he learns the identity of someone involved and that might be able to help him.
Listening to Snake and hoping that he would learn more about the virus or STUXNET, we find out just what he has in mind for those involved and hope that Mark can stop him before it’s too late. Betrayals, lies, deceits, plans that go sour and so many lives at stake as we learn more about the many missions that Mark was slated for, the video war games and two women that would play an important role. One was involved in administering the “designer” drug that he experienced at the beginning of the novel and later on when he lost memory of certain incidents. The other a Mossad agent linked to the first but how and why?
So, what would happen if the tables were turned and Mark had the power to administer to others what was done to him? Midview-Ultra: What will he do when he gets close to his victim? Will he be able to pull it off and supply Iran with someone to blame? Will MISIRI get their man and hand him over to Ahmad? An ending so explosive and a mission that did not end. What is the final outcome and where will Mark go next? What happens to those involved and will Iran go through with her threats? From Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Cyprus, Washington, Maryland and Virginia this novel explores many different issues dealing with nuclear war and weapons of mass destruction. One air force pilot that just wants to get behind the wheel of a plane and fly. A government that has other plans for him. A CIA agent, scientists, psychologists and those that are affluent in making uranium-enriched bombs provide and ending so explosive so deadly that only author Gregory S. Lamb could provide. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is at the center of this novel and in reality it is responsible for the development of new technologies for use by the military. These technologies will have a major effect on the world as well as computer networking and more. “Today, DARPA’s mission is still to prevent technological surprise to the US, but also to create technological surprise for our enemies.” Wikipedia. What’s next for Coolhand and just where will he wind up? Only our five star Colonel and Author can tell you that when I present him with FIVE GOLDEN EAGLES for writing this suspense filled, fast paced plot and outstanding novel with a character that is strong, straightforward and smart.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer