Shadow on the Sun by R Julian Cox
|Shadow on the Sun by R Julian Cox|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: An elegant conflation of fact and fiction make a complex but very readable eco thriller. R Julian Cox popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 276||Date: August 2012|
|Publisher: Northern Lights Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
There's always been a quandary for the ethically-minded scientist - what to do when your scientific discoveries can be used for less-than-ethical purposes. Robert Oppenheimer faced this problem when his work as a theoretical physicist resulted in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dr Jonathan Anderson faces a similar situation and - unbelievably - the consequences could be even more far reaching than the consequences of Oppenheimer's work. There's a conflict with his strong religious beliefs as well as with his professional ethics.
On a more benign note some students from Exeter University are involved in an archaeological dig. Can they really have found an aeronautical escape capsule which has apparently been buried for hundreds of years?
It's the near future and an American president has a pressing problem to do with an accumulation of nuclear waste and how to dispose of it. Not a presidential problem, you might be thinking? Well the science of predicting when earthquakes are going to occur has advanced considerably of late and there's a more than reasonable certainty that one is going to occur along the San Andreas fault in a matter of months. Unless the contaminated waste can be disposed of before that happens some twelve million people are going to need to be evacuated. By comparison the effects of Hurricane Katrina would seem almost benign if a large area of the USA became uninhabitable for hundreds of thousands of years. Then some sensitive information goes missing...
You might think that I've told you rather a lot about the plot, but I haven't. It's very meaty and there's an elegant mix of fact and fiction. The plot is complex too and for a while I did wonder where we were going but - have faith - it all knits together well and leaves you wondering exactly where fact finished and fiction began. The male characters are stronger than the female and I liked the quietly thoughtful Jonathan Anderson and Santos, the security officer. They're at opposite ends of the machismo scale but both come off the page well and it's a story which is going to be enjoyed by men and women.
The story will be continued but the ending is sufficiently satisfying that you don't feel as though you've been left on the edge of the cliff. Besides, the fact that's in the story is thought-provoking and since I finished reading my mind's been off into corners not often visited. I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For another thriller set in the near future we can recommend Battalion by Adam Hamdy.
You can read more about R Julian Cox here.
R Julian Cox popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Shadow on the Sun by R Julian Cox at Amazon.com.
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