Escalation: Stephen Tremp
Conflict escalation is the theme of the third in the Chase Manhattan series as author Stephen Tremp takes readers to many different parts of the world dealing with technology that is so new and so fragile that almost anything can happen and it does. The process by which a situation or conflict grows in severity over time is what you will become a part of as Chase Manhattan, Susan his girlfriend and Professor Nicholas Roberts have to stop what others have set in motion WWIII. The conflicts that arise are not only between the United States and China and the use of nuclear weapons to bomb each other and retaliate often without thinking to the ultimate consequences, but hostilities in other parts of the world as the author takes us inside the mind of many who have lost their way and have decided who shall live, who shall die and who will submit to their rule. The escalation of a nuclear war and the use of weapons of mass destruction is graphically and visually depicted as Chase faces his old foe Nicky Roberts Jr. his nemesis Staci and the rest of his team as the create something so deadly that if not stopped the world will never be the same.
Imagine a wormhole that could open at opposite ends. Imagine that Nicky Roberts has managed to invent a suitcase that would open a wormhole at one end and transport him or others to another destination and open at the other end. A wormhole is like a tunnel with two ends, each in separate points in space-time. (Wikipedia) Chase Manhattan has survived attempts on his life from numerous sources in his effort to destroy the technology. But he is far from safe. Now Chase and his comrades must not only break world renowned physicist Professor Nicholas Fischer out of prison a second time, but also smuggle him across hostile borders in Europe and the Middle East to prevent events threatening to spiral into World War III.
A wormhole was opened and allowed Bennie and Carol into another universe and now they would have to try and get back to their own. Working with Chase in the past and now thinking they were gone they enlisted the help of a Professor in their parallel dimension. At stake is the world and civilization as Bennie and Carol living in both worlds have to stop what they know is already happening in the one they are in. Battle lines drawn, nuclear attacks on both sides as China and the United States are at war. But, within this complex plot there is a supernatural character that takes on a human host and is controlling what are happening in China and the battles. But, those that go against him, fail or do not meet his expectations are dealt with harshly or find themselves at falling into a Bottomless Pit.
At stake is the destiny of the world and hopefully Chase will be able to stop what has already begun. With the help of Nancy and Fred, Susan and a man named Ahmed, Chase will stop the war that has already begun. But, Nicky is smart and has developed a suitcase that can open a wormhole from two sides, as Chase watches as Chinese troops advance in such a way that no one would believe. No roads leading to where they want to go. A superhighway not quite built as men advance, but go as far away from the opening as they can because the wormhole can collapse and does.
As the news reports that a nuclear explosion below the surface took place and an underwater “gas bubble would spread out close to the speed of sound until it hit the sea floor, then bounce back to the surface.” Imagine watching this and seeing it first hand. As the USS Blue Ridge, and the George Washington are attacked. As the news reports that a nuclear explosion below the surface took place and an underwater “gas bubble would spread out close to the speed of sound until it hit the sea floor, then bounce back to the surface.” Imagine watching this and seeing it first hand. As the USS Blue Ridge, and the George Washington are attacked.
Nicholas Fisher has his own take on who or what the world should be and he is trying to devise a way that physics, biochemistry, and nanotechnology will replace government, corporations and religion. He wants to rule you might say and everyone needs to follow his command calling it The Second Age of Enlightenment. Within his team there is Staci, Mina, and Christopher who he is using for his own purposes and are all expendable but Mina. As she is making sure that Staci’s demise happens in order to take her place with Nicky. Nicholas Fisher has his own take on who or what the world should be and he is trying to devise a way that physics, biochemistry, and nanotechnology will replace government, corporations and religion. He wants to rule you might say and everyone needs to follow his command calling it The Second Age of Enlightenment. Within his team there is Staci, Mina, and Christopher who he is using for his own purposes and are all expendable but Mina. As she is making sure that Staci’s demise happens in order to take her place with Nicky. With a suitcase that can open a wormhole at both ends from one location will his team wrap their minds around it or do they think he is going over the top?
On page 150 you hear his voice as he explains how this works, where someone can wind up and how the wormhole can open in different places and even different terrains. But, one member of his team has lost more than anyone else, as Khyati wants to continue setting up the cyberspace realm in order to avenge the death of her fiancé and hopefully eliminate Chase.
But, author Stephen Tremp provides an unexpected twist as Nicky finds himself in a situation that he does not expect. Carol and Bennie with the help of Professor Van Koevering manage to open the wormhole, hit enter and find their way back to the other dimension as Nicky realizes that Chase used the shadows to impersonate him and to break his father out of prison. A reunion so powerful but the end is far from near.
There are many reasons why Nicky wanted to change the way the world was run. The first is to destroy a group called Artisans of a New Dawn comprised of 72 members each with different rankings. Reasons behind his wanting to kill the members and destroy them were largely based on what he thought their philosophy was: Greedy global conglomerates and larger banking institutions to be replaced by leading the breakthrough in: Physics, biochemistry and nanotechnology. These reasons were supplied by a member of the group when faced with the harsh reality of what Nicky was really capable of doing and hoping to cut a deal when coming clean. Explaining how Chase Manhattan fit in, the use of technology to open wormholes that was stolen and the Fisherman Virus this proved to be the case of the year for Cherry and Vasquez. Facing their own problems at work and going head to head with two other detectives they managed to question on suspect, one real witness and find out where Nicky was hiding but would it be too late? A faceoff that you won’t believe and an ending that will make you wonder if this is all over or if there is much more to come. Do you believe in wormholes? Do you think that there are suitcases out there that contain nuclear weapons and materials? Do you believe that they can create a suitcase that can open a wormhole and transport someone from one place and out the other? Which of Nicky’s team survive? Who lives and who dies? Whose vision becomes a reality and whose fades away? Six members of Nicky’s team: What is their final fate? Will the courts convict them or will they be sent to a higher court waiting to get a final judgment? Whose lives are sacrificed for the great good? Author Stephen Tremp leaves us wondering about the answers to these questions and of course Chase has some unanswered ones too.
Will he bring him back or will he and Susan finally find some happiness and live a regular life? Chase Manhattan: you want him on your side! Strong, bold, smart and definitely creative in his thinking along with his outstanding team and girlfriend Susan will they defeat Nicky or will he win? Listen as the war commences, sides are drawn, weapons are unleashed and an unexpected foe thinks he can take control. Escalation: How far will you go to get what you want? How hard will you push? What is your highest point of ESCALATION? What is the final fate of China? Who will win if WWIII comes about? Once again author Stephen Tremp creates an ending you just won’t expect and makes you wonder what is next for Chase and his team.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer