A wisp of steam, lightly dusted with ash, trickled upward from the northwest crater of Soufrière Hills. The volcano had officially awakened.
An unlikely combination of events combine to provide the backdrop for an attack upon the Queen of England: a wayward satellite ending its life in a spectacular way, a young couple sailing to close to an active volcano, terrorists hiding out within the volcano’s Exclusion Zone awaiting the right moment to strike.
THE SCENE - An old satellite, carrying a nuclear-powered generator, collides with a piece of space junk and comes tumbling out of orbit. A young couple, on a six-month sailing odyssey in the Lesser Antilles, are surprised when a surviving piece comes roaring out of the night. Their boat is seriously damaged and the young man is injured. An hour of battling high waves and his deteriorating health follow, ending when the two are forced into the water off the island of Montserrat not far from where a volcano is pouring out its horrors.
Not yet aware that he has company, the leader of a four-man jihadist group, sees a light go out on the water and wonders why. He learns later that his hideaway has been invaded by a young American woman and her injured companion.
At NASA’s probing, a Naval contingent is pursuing the possibility of a radioactive piece of the satellite hitting the water. A cutter and an expert on containing nuclear spills are sent to investigate. The terrorist leader is watching as the navy expert dives on the remains of the sailboat, his shouted words to a colleague revealing that he has found traces of radioactivity on board. Even while knowing it has nothing to do with his mission, the terrorist is too intrigued to let it go.
The husband and wife writing team of Noel Carroll knit these characters and scenarios expertly together into a woven tapestry of an international political thriller. The Exclusion Zone is a fast paced thriller with a mesmerizing arc. The plot is fluid, and the scene settings are cinemascopic. Anyone drawn into the political maelstrom of today’s war on terrorism will be riveted to The Exclusion Zone.
About Noel Carroll
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Published October 23, 2010
by Allen-Ayers Books.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction.