Review: Silent Thunder, the first collaboration between Iris Johansen and her son Roy Johansen, both accomplished authors in their own right, is a spine-tingling thriller that will be hard to put down once started.
Hannah Bryson, an extremely talented marine architect has been commissioned by a U. S. Maritime Museum to thoroughly examine a decommissioned Soviet submarine. Every nook and cranny of the "Silent Thunder", at one time a nuclear attack sub, must be inspected and cleared completely of any material that might jeopardize the safety of the many visitors expected to board it for viewing. While searching, Hannah and her team (including her brother, Connor) discover metal plates with cryptic, coded messages hidden and bolted behind one of the ship's control panels. She notifies her State Department liaison who negotiated with the Russians for the purchase of the boat for the Maritime Museum. He tells her to evacuate her team from the sub immediately. Before she can, there is the sound of gunfire coming from the area of the hidden panels. She runs back to find her brother dead. What are the meanings of the cryptic markings on the plates? Why are they important now? And who would kill to get them? Hannah realizes there was many sets of eyes following her every move as she stubbornly sets out to find out the secret behind the plates, but more importantly, who killed her brother.
Silent Thunder is a multi-layered thriller that keeps the action coming from all angles. It turns out that every covert organization from Russia to the United States seemed to know about the existence of the hidden plates that Hannah and Connor found but they did not know exactly how to find them, or if they did find them, how to decode them. After Connor is killed, Hannah is offered help by the State Department (among many other organizations) to help find her brother's killer. She feels she can trust no one until she meets a man, a Russian no less, who seems to be more honest with her than the others. But is he? Only when she discovered her brother's killer would she relent enough to find out if this man was really helping her in her pursuit, or if was he there simply to secure the plates and uncover their meaning.
From the intricate plot to the puzzle of the plates, and from the still simmering Cold War rivalries to the developing relationship between Hannah and her Russian associate, Silent Thunder is not only an exhilarating suspense novel from start to finish, it is a prime example of a "page-turner".
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Silent Thunder.
Acknowledgment: Meryl L. Moss Media Relations provided a copy of Silent Thunder for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
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Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: July 2008
List Price: $24.95