Author: Dave Pearson

Publisher: Stand Up America Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-615-35997-7

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In a year almost glutted with new espionage thrillers, Dave Pearson’s first novel, Storm, shouldn’t be lost in the flood.  While many new spy novels this decade are filled with the verisimilitude provided by former intelligence officers turning to writing as a second vocation, good storytelling is front in center in Storm which is both believable and a fast-paced, well sketched adventure.

Twenty years ago, a loose unit of highly skilled teenagers became expert hackers before one infiltration almost got them caught. Two decades later, the group’s leader simply known as Dutch is approached by a former member of his “Storm” team and asked to join in the ultimate hack—to break into the U.S. military’s ultra-secret internet, the Intelink. While suspicious of the group’s mercenary motives, Dutch is drawn into a scheme which involves the new Storm infiltrating Compound 5, a U.S. fortress on a remote Pacific island.  

While the group thinks they’ll have an easy time of it, events quickly become more and more complex as the fortress doesn’t crack quite as easily as they hoped—especially as Compound 5 is on special alert as five international covert ops teams are practicing exercises on the island. As the cast of characters widens, Dutch learns this Storm has its own motives, but member Lone Wolf back in the states has different plans. And who is funding the submarine waiting for Storm’s escape?

Very quickly, Pearson establishes his knowledge in the techniques cyber-hackers can employ to break into wherever they want and avoid detection; in short order, he also demonstrates detailed awareness of the skills and characteristics of special ops forces. It might stretch credulity that so many computer whizs would also become specialists in evading mines, using tasars, and out-maneuvering Marines, but this becomes part of the mystery worrying Dutch—there’s always a new surprise to build tension and suspense. And blended into the story of Storm are the various responses to them from within Compound 5, from the various units on the ground, the commanders on the nearby U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, and the leadership of the nSA and FBI back in the states.

Despite the name of the publisher—Stand Up America—there’s no obvious political agenda to Storm nor the cautionary tone evident in other novels dramatizing potential threats in the future. The rogue “Storm” is a group of amoral minds out somewhat for revenge, but mainly for financial gain before mere survival drives the to desperate means. It’s a story of action with one character, the far from amoral Dutch, serving as the rudder for the story and the reader as we learn what’s going on primarily through his eyes. In the right hands, Storm would make for a fine action-adventure on film.

According to publicity for the book, Storm is the first of a series, although its unclear what role “Storm” might play in future books. To say more would give away too much of a debut novel that keeps its readers guessing on every page. Most of us, I suspect, will end up eagerly awaiting part two.

Click Here To Purchase Storm