The Detonator: Vincent Zandri
Sometimes a single action that you think will go unnoticed and cost you everything that you have achieved in life. Ike Singer is entranced with his vocation as a demolition expert and created Master Blasters with his friend and colleague Brian Darling. But, something that he’s done and thought would never be revealed causes what the author brilliantly brings to light within the first scenes of the book and sets the tone for revenge and retribution.
Alison Darling is evil, cruel, sadistic and even more out to destroy Ike’s family for what he did when she was nine years old. Working with her father and Brian learning about his wife Patty and Ike was the fuel for the fire that would burn in more ways than one. Alison is an assistant professor at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany, N.Y. Her goal is to learn how to deal with explosives of the highest magnitude but very small ones. As the daughter of his ex-partner she wants to take out Ike and his family because her father committed suicide in 1999. Her mother had a mental breakdown right after her brief affair with Ike who refused to acknowledge her after the affair and pretended at times that it never happened. Alison’s mother could no longer care for her and anyone dealing with the foster care system would know that all too often children, like Alison are shifted around from home to home and sometimes they face dangers that social workers and judges in this case ignore. The abuse she suffered at the hand of one of her foster fathers helped to trigger and fuels her anger even more. So, Alison resurfaced after all these years pretending to befriend Ellen and Henry when in reality she was planning something so heinous, so diabolical that would start with what appeared to be a simple tire blowout but when the tire repairman looked at it and the tow truck driver who was former military realized the extent of the damage to the car he stated that it looked like Ike went over an IED. Alison became pregnant from her foster father, went to Planned Parenthood after judges, doctors and others ignored her plea for help but instead she waited and bided her time and planted this bomb to blow up his car but really just wanted to separate him from Ellen and Henry and put the fear of God in him which she did. His friend on the force Nick Miller is alerted to what might have happened to his car and he takes the time to watch over Ellen and Henry until Ike pays an unusual amount of money to get his car repaired to get home the same day. But, Alison is lurking right outside and since he works as a consultant for the police in demolition he’s called when someone targets a local judge and ties him to a mailbox with duct tape and then places a bomb on his chest. Ike and his demolition team work to beat the clock to save this man only learning minutes later that another bomb was planted in a church and a priest was the next victim. While trying to free the father he learns about a third on at Planned Parenthood. Two live one dies because he could not get there in time but each person played a role in Alison’s life starting with a judge that placed her in an abusive foster care home and a priest who listened to her cries and turned a deaf ear. Finally, when she went to Planned Parenthood and needed their help they were cold, calculating, and judgmental and handled her problem and sent her back out in the cold. Alison Darling felt alone in the world yet after her father killed himself the one person she claimed to love she decided to destroy.
Patricia Darling died from an explosion Ike learns when he reads a Times Union piece relating the Tragic Boiler explosion. Heartless, angry, calculating and having it all well timed and planned she was just starting wait until you feel the final results of her anger and wrath.
Alison hated Albany and after these three and even before Ike and his family learns just how deadly she really is, she takes to destroying some famous Albany landmarks. So, how did she gain entry to Ellen and Ike’s house and place a metal casing of an e-cig device and a one quarter-cc drop of the transparent super liquid thermite from her pen in her piano. If Ellen came home and decided to touch the piano key black C –minor key, on the black baby grand 100 times, she won’t get to do it again! BOOM!
Alison enters her work area and flirts with the guard handing him one of her ecigs. Why kill him? What’s the point? Although she is after Ike and his family she is selling out what she has learned about explosives and more to the Chinese. Her goal is to learn more about napalm or versions of it that burn and are very hot. These bombs as the author shares his knowledge with us can destroy any evidence that would lead an expert to believe a boiler didn’t just blow on its own. The fire accompanying it wasn’t the result of a busted gas line, if done the right way it can erase all evidence. How clever was she?
Alison seems to do her work unnoticed and taunts Ike with Knock Knock jokes that are anything but funny warning him that she’s in control and cannot escape her or what she has planned.
While he is out with Detective Miller and is dealing with his demolition squad and hoping to safe innocent people someone sets off enough bombs at the Wellington Hotel that will remind readers what happens when ISIS bombed many countries including our own and the backlash and devastation is indescribable and unimaginable until you read and experience the vivid explosions and fires that the author shares with readers.
IEDD’s or Improvised Explosive Device Disposal and Public Safety Bomb Disposal, which Ike was certified for both. But, how do you do a job with limited resources and not having everything you need to stop what has been set in place? Saving the judge duct taped to the mailbox and relating that Alison was the one who destroyed the back wheel of his car
Taunting him with jokes, notes and stating facts that are unproven and seeing Patty’s ghost as a reminder of his past, his lies and betrayals and thinking at times she is almost real, Ike falls prey to his guilt and succumbs to the voices he hears in his head. As the Wellington Hotel is next and is surrounded with bright orange storm fencing, Ike begins to see things while the demolition crews who have no doubt been at it all night are setting their equipment up to implode the hotel. The contractor hired Alison to work on the IED festivities that would implode the hotel. She was the consultant on the job and she is the one who planted the three bombs and the experimental IED’s. She is more toxic than the most dangerous poison or explosive. As they are nearing this site Planned Parenthood is destroyed and you can smell the smoke, the burned body and Ike hears Patty’s voice claiming everything happening is his fault while not giving in blame to her daughter who caused more than what has happened that day.
A device like a fuse or a percussion cap that is employed to set off an explosive charge or in this case someone that actually creates the detonation and is the prime Detonator! What your past becomes your present and the links get tighter and the spaces between the links disappear who will be the final winner? Who will survive the work of THE DETONATOR?
The final scenes are tense as Ike and his family becomes the next target starting with Henry with a bomb taped to him but can Ike defuse it before it explodes? So, why in the middle of this drama does he insist she plays the piano? This story is told in three stages and when you come to the third hold your breath, stand back, put on a Kevlar vest and make sure that you have the right tools to defuse these IED’s because the explosion will take you apart otherwise, the dramatic ending hold you in check and the final result will be more than a huge blast.
Vests in place, Alison in charge, his family fighting for their lives, Henry who is being held captive and the harsh truth of what Ike did comes out as Ellen has to decide where her loyalties lie and if and when they find Henry will she remain with Ike?
Alison spent her young life feeling unwanted, uncared for and abandoned by the system and her family. Social workers and Foster Care agencies can learn a lot from what happened to her.
The final chapters will keep you riveted to the pages of the book and the explosions deadly as Ike races the clock and the ticking of the bombs to try and save his family but will he before the final seconds tick off and his world implodes?
What does Miller reveal to Ike and what was Alison’s motive for her actions besides taking revenge on Ike?
Some endings are carefully and quietly created but his one, get your earplugs, find a safe place because you won’t believe the ending, the final outcome and what Henry would call the greatest Master Blaster of them all.
Only author Vincent Zandri can make readers understand the meaning of revenge, hate, greed, betrayal and the dangers of getting involved with bombs, pipe bombs, and being a Master Blaster. This book would really hit high ratings on the WIDE SCREEN!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine