Pendulum Over the Pacific
Author: Timothy Trainer
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)
Binding: Paperback, 368 pages
Pendulum over the Pacific by Timothy Trainer is a novel of intrigue and political skullduggery. A weak American President is led astray by an advisor who has ulterior motives in dealing with trade imbalances with Japan in the 1980s. The problem is that the advisor, Rob Harwell, happens to be the President’s nephew, a class act sleazebag who is somehow able to wield an inordinate amount of power considering his age, experience, and station in life. Working together with U.S. Senator Baxter Hammond and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Jay Martinson, Harwell works against the president’s wishes, manufacturing false “evidence” related to the Russians.
Plans are foiled by Morgan Atwood, a discontented American academic who has moved to Tokyo to work at Keio University. His job there is overseeing the American students who come there to study, as he had when he was an undergrad. One night following Harwell’s meetings with Japanese trade officials, Atwood happens to be present in the restaurant and assists the drunken Harwell back to his hotel room. There Atwood finds papers strewn on the floor. While Harwell sleeps it off, Atwood snoops through the papers and makes copies that he shares with his friends both in Japan and America.
Atwood becomes the target of Harwell’s interest when Harwell realizes that a leak is endangering his plans. From there the action is unabated as Atwood is followed and assaulted. His friends are put in danger as the suspicions and spying continue across continents.
Reviewed by: Betsy Beard (2014)
Information provided by the author. In Pendulum Over The Pacific, a web of intrigue and danger engulfs Morgan Atwood, his friends and their families when his innocent curiosity threatens a plot to undermine U.S.-Japan negotiations. In the 1980s, Japan is a surging economic power that some American politicians view as a threat. A growing trade imbalance generates hostility towards Japan and the President feels the pressure from a political adversary. As a group in Washington hatches a plan to force changes in U.S.-Japan relations, thousands of miles away in Tokyo a chance meeting between Morgan Atwood and an advisor to the President leads to introductions and incidental encounters that will threaten the secret plans of the Washington group. As a mentor to foreign students in Japan, Morgan Atwood is not a threat to the Washington power brokers. A late night chance meeting with the President’s nephew leads to Morgan’s unexpected access to confidential papers. Morgan’s inquiries of friends in Tokyo and Washington set off alarms among the Washington group and the fear of a leak and exposure. When Morgan is identified as the source of the leak, he finds himself under surveillance and a Washington contact disappears. Fearing for his safety and that of his friends, Morgan resurrects skills buried in his past to enable him to stop the roller coaster of events he sets in motion. Morgan unexpectedly receives help from his old friends and his new colleague, Fumiko Nakajima, and her father. Fumiko’s linguistic skills coupled with her father’s contacts create a façade of a network working with Morgan against the Washington Group, which raises the stakes for both sides. Morgan learns that the band of Washingtonians includes seemingly untouchable members who will destroy anyone or anything that gets in their way. The Washington power brokers believe they are insulated from exposure. In the end, miscalculation, obsession and fear of exposure drives one of the conspirators to the final confrontation with Morgan.