Signal: Patrick Lee
Authors can create endings to their books and then rework them when they think of a different or better one. In a perfect world there would be no wars, terror attacks, earthquakes or even huge catastrophic incidents. Everyone would rise each morning and the sun would shine brightly and the day would always end the same on a positive note. But, this is not a perfect world and not all books have happy endings and we live in times that are dangerous and often put us on alert. What would you do if you knew someone was going to be killed and you had the power to stop the killing? What would you do if you could hear what was going to happen in the future and fix it in the past? What would happen if you knew ten hours and twenty-four minutes before an event was going to occur you heard a voice, radio signal ignited and you knew the score of a baseball game, the ending quotes on stocks, the death of a President or even if you got the job promotion you wanted? How would you handle knowing this beforehand? Would you want to know? What happens when two people learn about the same event and see the end result in two different ways? Four young girls are kidnapped and placed in a cage by a deadly killer. One is able to reach for a cell phone and dials 911. In one scenario the girls are killed and their bodies burned beyond recognition. In a second they are saved by a mysterious man and found alive by FBI agent Marnie Calvert who is called to the first scene and has to deal with the murders. Which really happened? How could they be dead and then alive?
Sam Dryden is an ex-Special Forces operative who receives an emergency call from Claire Dunham. Rushing to meet her and trying to find out why the rush he finds himself in deep trouble from the start as he and Claire try and stop the murder of four young girls that as far as the news is concerned already happened. Rescuing them from a shack in the Sierra Nevada’s and getting away before the FBI or any law enforcement agencies arrived would require a great deal of ingenuity. As he and Claire race the clock to save these girls what he learns about a close friend named Dale Whitcomb and his affiliation with the Bayliss Corporation allows readers to know that using the technology he uncovered they have the ability to within ten hours into the future to know about airline crashes, disasters, murders or weather problems. Imagine knowing this ten and half hours in the future but not a prediction of it just a present-tense rundown. Claire was hired by the company to be their internal security chief and the executive in charge “at Bayliss was Dale, Whitcomb.” As the author describes the technology and its impact the reader will wonder why they would want to destroy it when it can be used for so much good. The power they discovered could and would change the world but just as Bayliss had the machine and the power to change the future and the past an organization called The Group had their own uses for the same technology. But, Claire Dunham and Sam drive to meet someone named Curtis at a pre-selected spot. So, why did she tell him to leave his phone home and when he arrived the four young girls that were being held by a male killer but what happens reverts back to the prologue or the beginning as FBI agent Marnie Calvert appears at the scene but not with the one where the girls are saved the first where they are burned to a crisp. Would you believe that there is such a computer or device that is able to use radio signals that are transmitted from the future and at other times not just ten hours and 24 minutes ahead but sometimes years into the future. Imagine learning about the death of a President or an earthquake or even something that might happen to you and being able to change the ending or outcome. But, just what will they do with it and in the wrong hands and the device or devices have landed in the wrong hands already would they deem possible to do with it? While trying to save the four girls Sam and Claire are separated and she is kidnapped and drugged. Enter Marnie Calvert who Sam convinces about this device, explains how it is used and needs time to convince her about the way signals are transmitted.
The Group is made up of some dangerous people and someone has gone rogue within the organization hoping to change the course of history and create an ending that when revealed will not be the one that both Sam and Marnie read about. Told within a short time frame the author keeps the plot moving, readers on the edge of their seats as we join Marnie and Sam hunting for the mysterious machines, trying to stop more catastrophes and saving a group of workmen from a deadly earthquake.
There is much more as the signal ignites and we hear the following: A.P. Wednesday, November 6, 2024: the headlines state that Hayden Eversman will be the next President of the United States. But, this is the first of several postings or newscasts for the same man and each date and each article that you will read on pages 183-184 will have different endings. So, why does Sam feel that the technology needs to be destroyed and why does one member of the team feel he needs to prevent it? A simple sentence: You follow baseball would change it all ad Dryden takes the time to explain his theory and knowledge and one man wants to change it all. Can the Group send a message further back in time- months or years? Is that even possible? What about changing the past? The explanation as to how this words is explained on pages 191- 194. The technology is great but as Dryden states what happens when the government gets a hold if this or big corporations? When Cal Brennan takes a step in the wrong direction whom decides to take action and make sure he does not succeed?
The Group seems to have its eyes and ears everywhere and Marnie, Dale and Sam have to make some quick decisions and only two might survive as the realize their escape route is limited and their options are few. Research plays an important role in this novel and learning more about the potential presidential candidate and his fate takes up the final part of this novel. Knowing where they were hours before they got there and the exact time of the search, the computer used and more. How would someone be able to learn what they needed and whom would they find the information without the Group’s knowledge? Marnie is smart and astute and what she does will definitely surprise the reader and Sam. Learning more about Eversman will be enlightening and meeting him a total surprise. But, someone has Claire and on page 217 their voices are heard in a repeated announcement, which causes Sam to have to decide whether it is real or not, and how to find Claire. Why would someone need six different ways to kill Eversman? What is his role within this complex plot? Just who is at the top and who wants both Marnie and Sam gone? Will he ever reconnect with Claire? What will happen to the machines and just where are the others? Do they find it in time? Will the Group win? What would you do if you were Sam and had all of this technology at your fingertips? Should it be destroyed? Should they leave it where they find it? Will anyone be able to figure out what to do with it even if they find it? Where was the system buried? How would it keep running in the future? The Signal: Destroy it or Keep it? Find out the dramatic and explosive ending that author Patrick Lee provides. If you had the choice would you want to hear the Signal and what messages it sends or should it be silenced? After reading this outstanding five star novel you the reader decide the answer for yourself.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews