A volcano. A nuclear missile. An explosive, deadly threat to the West.
The murder of a prominent geophysicist and the eruption of Mount St. Helens are viewed as coincidence by the White House. But Admiral Morgan suspects the involvement of his nemesis, terrorist Major Ray Kerman. Then comes the chilling threat - Kerman has a nuclear device, Scimitar SL-2, which he intends to launch straight into the heart of the volcano Cumbre Vieja, causing a massive tsunami to devastate the East Coast of the United States. Shocked into action, Admiral Morgan returns to the White House to run Operation High Tide - a desperate race to evacuate the East Coast and locate the nuclear submarine before it launches its deadly weapon ...
Ravi Rashood, the arch-villain of Robinson's 2003 adventure, Barracuda 945, returns for another round with Adm. Arnold Morgan, national security adviser for the former U.S. president, a militaristic Republican. Rashood and Morgan's showdown takes on some of the aura of the Holmes/Moriarty duel Rashood has even named his new submarine Barracuda II thanks, in part, to Robinson's rather plummy prose; not even Clive Cussler would have a character utter "Streuth" as an expletive. At 64, the crusty Morgan has earned his retirement and married his longtime love (and longer-time secretary), Kathy O'Brien. The recently elected Democratic president, "peacenik" Charles McBride, has little use for Morgan's services; Morgan's sidelining gives Hamas General Rashood the opening he needs to hatch another nefarious plot. Robinson builds the story's tension slowly; the lesser lights newly installed in federal security positions are slow to put together the pieces of seemingly unrelated events including the murder of the world's leading geophysicist in London and the surprising eruption of Mount St. Helens. Rashood's plan, which tangentially includes evergreen Western foes Russia, North Korea and China, involves triggering an apocalyptic mega-tsunami via volcanic eruptions caused by a nuclear-tipped guided cruise missile launched from the aforementioned Barracuda... whew! Robinson's full-bodied, measured prose has a retro feel, and his narrative, studded with informative historical and political tidbits, turns every new setting into its own short story.