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Abyss (Kirk Mcgarvey) by David Hagberg
Cover Artist: Getty Images
Review by Verna Suit
Forge Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765324108
Date: 21 June 2011 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Dr. Eve Larsen has an idea for a power source that will not only provide the world with clean energy but also help to control weather. She plans to tap into the power of ocean currents by installing ocean-floor impellers and generators in the path of the Gulf Stream. Some people are skeptical that her idea will work, but not big oil. In fact, the idea of ocean currents providing a viable alternative to oil scares an oil futures hedge fund so much that it hires an international hit man to sabotage Eve's experimental project. The stakes are raised when it also targets a nuclear reactor, with the intention of scaring the public away from nuclear power, too.

Kirk McGarvey, legendary former director of the CIA, comes to the rescue. Many consider McGarvey a loose cannon, but he keeps getting called back "to figure out messes the government can't address on an official basis." Lately he's been doing security training for the National Nuclear Safety Administration, so this nuclear reactor problem is right up his alley. During a tense hour as the clock on a detonator ticks down, McGarvey works to mitigate what could be a disaster many times worse than Chernobyl.


Afterward, McGarvey teams up with Gail Newby, the nuclear plant's security officer who feels responsible for letting the attack happen. They are both convinced the saboteur's next target will be Eve Larsen's expanded trial of her ocean-current theory using a retired oil rig as her base. McGarvey and Gail race to uncover the identity of the saboteur and protect the oil rig as it is towed to Florida across the depths of the Gulf of Mexico.


In this 15th book in the series, McGarvey faces an opponent who's the ultimate professional, completely off the grid and deadly. Short chapters keep the action moving. Tension builds steadily as the date for the oil rig's launch nears. A subtle rivalry between Gail and Eve for Kirk's affections, and an unidentified mole among Eve's technical team add additional threats to the ocean current experiment.

Meanwhile, McGarvey ponders how he once again has been dropped into the abyss of his old CIA life. This complex and global story that pits oil interests against alternative sources of energy couldn't be more timely. With villains to hate and heroes to cheer for, Abyss is a very satisfying and exciting read.

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