Dense, meticulous, and packed with plenty of suspense… An ingenious and addicting read.
Political intrigue, sinister conspiracies, corruption, romance, and murder mark Bleicher’s meticulously detailed near-future conspiracy thriller. The UN has launched a global environmental project which uses mirrors to deflect a portion of the sun’s light in order to reduce the excessive warming of earth. But there are insiders skirting the rules and outsiders abusing the Project’s capabilities. Kelly O’Rourke and Jay Bhattachar, UN Solar Shield Project Corps (SSPC) Officers, soon get involved in the investigation. The stakes rise after a Wuhan based computer firm is hired to hack the SSPC’s master computer. Commander Fauré assigns Jay, Kelly, and the senior UN Security Officer Cheng to track down the hackers in Wuhan, but the team soon find themselves in Moscow, with murder and mayhem at their heels. Bleicher makes good use of usual conspiracy thriller elements of speculative fiction, environmental thriller, science, murder, romance, and action, delivering plenty of exhilarating cat-and-mouse tactics and life-or-death situations. It takes time to get into the story, but once it catches momentum, it never slows down even when Bleicher throws in a large amount of technical and environmental figures and facts. He is an expert when it comes to pacing, stretching out the main mystery through perfectly paced chapters that give rise to gusts of well-constructed action. The narrative is filled with unusually large but impressive amounts of environmental jargon and cybersecurity details and remains engrossing throughout, prompting quick turns of the page. The themes of climate change, environmental crisis, cyber exploitation and cybercrime, corruption, bureaucratic shenanigans, friendship, love, trust, and betrayal are woven skillfully into the main storyline. A conflicted relationship between Jay and Kelly, a cast of fully fleshed-out, intriguing secondary characters, and nonstop action keep the pages flying. Bleicher’s writing is crisp, and there is authenticity to his worldbuilding as Jay and Kelly shuffle between Wuhan, Manhattan, and Moscow to track down the enemy. Jay is intelligent and sympathetic, making it easy for the reader to root for him. Kelly, with her tough-as-nails personality, determination, persistent, and highly-driven nature remains thoroughly intriguing. Bleicher does a good job building suspense as he gradually reveals the intricate connections among the top players and ties the multiple disparate threads of the storyline together. Extremely complicated and thoroughly exciting, the novel should easily find a home with the lovers of intricately detailed conspiracy thrillers.
Guardians of the Solar Shield
Earth’s Climate Mirrors Under Attack 2029-37
By Sam Bleicher
Strategic Path Press
Pub date April 5, 2021
Price $11.95 (USD) Paperback, $8.29 Kindle edition
Categories: Action and Thrillers