Radiant Angel: Nelson DeMille
Images of 9/11 haunt the dreams and nightmares of many until this day. No matter how many times you try and block out what happened the moment you pass where the Twin Towers were memories of that day flood into your heart and mind. But, what would happen if someone decided to replicate that day again? What would happen if someone decided that exactly at the same time on a given day at 8:46 in the morning New York would receive more than it did on September 11th? This time it would be a nuclear blast that would kill millions of people and destroy a city that so many loved and adored. What would happen if New York received a Radiant Angel? Not an angel that would radiate over you protecting you but one that would light up the world with its deadly glow. Radiant Angel: Nelson DeMille
Three men would enter the home of a very wealthy Russian man hoping to hide the true reason for being there. Vasily Petrov, Victory Gorsky and Arkaday Urmanov enter the home of George Tamarov along with 12 women who are there for their pleasure, caterers serving decadent food and drinks, security guards and many other guests. But, within the walls of this estate these three men appear to be oblivious to what is going on around them as they prepare to leave, find their way to a black Mercedes and head for a Yacht owned by a Saudi Prince in order to carry off a mission so heinous, so horrific that 9/11 will pale in comparison. With an arsenal at hand, nuclear suitcases stashed and innocent lives at stake these three men will carry off an operation that just might bring America down.
The planning was absolutely foolproof and no one caught on as the Russians left the party, found their way to a ship called the Hana and went off the radar and could no longer be found. As the members of the crew greeted these three dangerous men and the Prince who owned the yacht afforded them every courtesy, 12 young women would enhance their fun but no one realized the end result. Without any means of communication for those on board, any weapons or way to escape these three men would orchestrate a plan that would cost many lives.
Little did the Russians know that John Corey and his team were right at their front door watching their every move. No longer part of the Anti-Terrorist Task Force and now part of the Diplomatic Surveillance Group, his job was to watch, observe and follow Russian Diplomats working at the U.N. Thinking this was going to be no problem and create no real stir little did John know that this would change the course of many lives including his own. Lies, betrayals, deceits and cover-ups are at the heart of the novel as John infiltrates the party, manages to get inside along with his new partner Tess Faraday. Posing as an FBI recruit and having to pretend to learn the ropes from John, it becomes apparent early one that she is really not who she says she is and that there is someone else she is working for but who? As Tess and John watch those going into the party a plan is formed to become part of the catering team. Posing as a Russian Foreign Intelligence Service diplomat, Vasily Petrov has created a plan that would mirror September 11th. Watching him and thinking he was still at the party he gives John and his team the slip finding his way to another party and a yacht called the Hana. When things begin to come together using his contacts he learns more about what the Russians have planned, realizing that this is more than just a party and that they just might plan a nuclear threat of inflict a “Radiant Angel,” nuclear bomb on New York City.
John is determined to find Petrov at all costs as he is sure that he has escaped by boat and possibly will use an amphibious land craft to find his way to safety and return home. Vasily Petrov was a killer and he was headed for the home of George Tamorov to party. But, what was the real reason and what did he plan as John Corey, Tess Faraday and his team follow his path? . Pavel Fradkov also know as Arkady Urmanov is a nuclear physicist once working on the Soviet nuclear weapons miniaturization program or Suitcase nukes. His job is to activate the bomb. These devices are temperamental and dangerous and need supervision. But, questions are asked and few answers are given as they wonder by Petrov, Gorsky and Urmanov have an amphibious craft to take them to this Russian ship. With the FBI now aware of what they have planned and the truth about who Tess Faraday is coming to light will John be able to continue, will he be pulled off or will something bigger happen?
Thinking about The Hana, Petrov recounted the fact that this ship was unique unto itself and the builders had designed a small float in dock for the owner, the Saudi Prince so the “garage could be flooded and a small craft could sail directly out of the hull without the daily of discomfort of a ramp and winch. One serious problem was solved of how to hide and mask the nuclear device and the radiation. Imagine being able to shield and hide these nuclear devices using thousands of liters of water along with a lead shield the radiation device and the end result he hoped with destroy many. The research is extensive as the author shares the history of suitcase nukes within the pages of chapter 16. Added in Petrov explains in his own voice why it is necessary to replace the captain of the ship with someone he felt he could trust and the importance of having the nuclear device detonate in New York Harbor destroying Manhattan, and evidence pointing to another country and blaming them for the attack. Throughout Chapter 17- 23 the plan comes to light, the members of the crew are taken out, the women are disposed of and anyone that stands in his way meets the same fate. Imagine a craft that is mechanized and used for landing. Within this landing craft machine guns and other weapons can be hidden and mounted in order for use to defend troops or those within the vehicle. Imagine what would happen is this vehicle housed nuclear weapons. Imagine what they had in mind!
As Petrov and his men take over the ship and the fate of those on it is cast, John Corey, Tess Faraday and their team are working to find the Hana and hopefully convince the FBI, the police and the Suffolk County Marine Headquarters and its counterpart in Nassau county to come aboard and help them find the Hana and stop what has been set in motion before it’s too late. But, John is relentless and working with Tess puts a definite strain on both of them as events spiral out of control, things do not always turn out how they are planned and eventually the powers that be request that John be relieved of his position and no longer on the case. But, what happens will not surprise readers that know John Corey. John Corey narrates most of the story and you hear in his own words his assessment of the other members of his team and his quips and humorous jokes and sayings when referring to Vasily or Vaseline. Added in we have Buck Harris the one man who John hates after what happened in Yemen and is forced to work with him along with Tess. Buck was the one person who was assigned to the Russian Mission and his role and job was to vet people like Vasily and Fradkov. Trying to convince him of what was about to take place took all of his powers of persuasion and help from Tess but Steve Kalish and his team, following protocol and wanting to help demanded assurance that this was above board but you know John.
When John and his team found Petrov’s driver and questioned him the answers were not what he expected. Prostitutes, lack of cell phones, drugs, immigration status and whatever John could dredge up in order to make sure those attending the party did not leak anything and were confined was requested of those in charge. But, John had befriended one of the women named Tasha, her phone no longer active and her fate decided because of her friendship with him. Coast guard alerted, the driver finally giving them something they could use, remembering the North Tower and flashing back to his marriage to Kate, author Nelson DeMille takes readers on a bumpy ride both on land and in the water to stop a nuclear disaster. Saudi Prince Ali Faisel is the owner of the Hana as George Tamorov tells John about the Hana.
The race is on and clues are sparse and just where the Hana is no one knows. Radar and communications off, no chance of finding the bomb and three men determined to complete what one man started. But, which one will pay the price for just being apart of the plan? What will the final fate be? “ The code name for a radiation detection operation is Radiant Angel and this angel is not ethereal and is not watching over you. An ending quite explosive and the unexpected happens as John races the clock, Tess risks it all as they come face to face with a killer but can he be stopped? John Corey has to not only face the events that happened what decide on the next phase of his life and where that will take him.
An ending that will provide many answers and questions that still need to be addressed as John comes face to face with his feelings for Kate, his thoughts on his marriage and his decision as to where he winds up next and hopefully he will find a real Radiant Angel in his life. One outstanding novel, one thought provoking story one event that should make America aware to always stay alert!
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews