Author: Rob Carnell
Nuclear Surprise is Rob Carnell’s debut novel and an engaging one at that. With an intriguing premise and attention to detail he manages to keep the reader engaged and turning pages to the very end. The book might seem disjointed in places but manages to come together in the end as all loose ends are tied together.
The character of the protagonist, Kamal Pashwari, is well etched as the multimillionaire Arab but sticks to all known stereotypes and almost seems like a parody at some points. The initial chapters of the book are an interesting narrative of his life story and reveal the deep dark secret of this globe-trotting, lobster eating businessman. The writer focuses on the father-son relationship through the generations and rightly so as the devastated father decided to avenge his son’s death at the hands of the US Navy and so the plot thickens.
As Peshwari smuggles nuclear explosives around the world planning and plotting his revenge, the security agencies are sweating it out in the blame game. Russian agent Natasha Karpov is sent to team up with an up and coming CIA analyst, Matt Peterson, to save the day before Pashwari’s revenge explodes on US soil. The chase sends the pair all over the world and is a heady mix of a budding romance with a few bullets thrown in.
The author is thorough in his attention to detail in describing technology, chains-of-command, all the actual instances quoted, etc. but this might be a hindrance for some readers as these descriptions break the flow of the story. The book still manages to make you wonder if the day will be saved as Pashwari’s meticulous plans unfold. With a murder mystery that is decades old and a nuclear explosion waiting to unfold, Carnell’s is one thrilling work.