Kenneth Andrus writes with clarity and excitement. The Fifth Bomb will keep you up turning to that next page, then the next, and the next.
Nick Packos, a mid-level intelligence analysis for the Director of National Intelligence is put in charge of a multi-agency task force to investigate the theft of spent radioactive pellets in the Russian Federation. It’s not enough to make a nuclear bomb, but enough to make several dirty bonds.
When the first two bombs explode in Moscow's GUM shopping center, Nick is thrust into a global quest to find the perpetrators and missing radioactive material. His sister agencies in Russia and France have no clue as to whether the bombers are part of an international cabal such as ISIS or a lone-wolf operation. The search gains in intensity when a third dirty bomb explodes in Paris, targeting the wives of the presidents of France and the United States.
Packos is not the swashbuckling superhero found in many thrillers. But his careful analytical skills and ability to overcome self-doubts keep him on the trail of Bashir al-Khultyer whose goal is not political, but personal revenge for the murder of his wife and child. The search intensifies as Packos learns Bashir had received advanced degrees in Radiation and Radiobiology at the Institute for Nuclear Research.
As the global search goes on for missing radioactive pellets, the trail leads to Pakistan and Turkey. But one canister of pellets needed to make a fifth bomb, eludes the international intelligence agencies and Packos. Leads take him to Somalia where they identify Bashir al-Khultyer as the lead suspect, yet he slips away and disappears again. A family emergency causes Packso to rush to Miami where the story takes another surprising twist.
From the heist of the nuclear pellets in the first chapter to the dramatic climax, "The Fifth Bomb" keeps a reader glued to the pages as the story races from action pact episode to another.
MWSA Reviewer: Joe Epley
Crazed by the murder of his wife and child by paramilitary police, Bashir al-Khultyer has only one goal: To seek revenge against all those he feels were responsible for their deaths. In Russia, he steals enough nuclear material to construct five dirty bombs. When the first is detonated in Moscow, NSA analyst Nick Parkos must confront his own demons as he pursues al-Khultyer in an international manhunt to stop him before he can detonate his four remaining devices.