When a Japanese submarine is discovered abandoned deep in the Brazilian wilderness, a smart, adventurous, and tough zoologist must derail a catastrophic plot in Hell’s Gate.
1944. As war rages in Europe and the Pacific, Army Intel makes a shocking discovery: a 300-foot Japanese sub marooned and empty, deep in the Brazilian interior. A team of Army Rangers sent to investigate has already gone missing. Now, the military sends Captain R. J. MacCready, a quick-witted, brilliant scientific jack-of-all-trades to learn why the Japanese are there—and what they’re planning.
Parachuting deep into the heart of Central Brazil, one of the most remote regions on the planet, Mac is unexpectedly reunited with his hometown friend and fellow scientist Bob Thorne. A botanist presumed dead for years, Thorne lives peacefully with Yanni, an indigenous woman who possesses mysterious and invaluable skills. Their wisdom and expertise are nothing short of lifesaving for Mac as he sets out on a trail into the unknown.
Mac makes the arduous trek into an ancient, fog-shrouded valley hidden beneath a 2000-foot plateau, where he learns of a diabolical Axis plot to destroy the United States and its allies. But the enemy isn’t the only danger in this treacherous jungle paradise. Silently creeping from the forest, an even darker force is on the prowl, attacking at night and targeting both man and beast. Mac has to uncover the source of this emerging biological crisis and foil the enemy’s plans . . . but will he be in time to save humanity from itself?
Vertebrate zoologist Schutt (Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures) makes his fiction debut with an exceptional crypto-zoological thriller, coauthored with the pseudonymous Finch, a painter and cave explorer. In 1944, U.S. Army Capt. R.J. MacCready, a zoologist, travels to Brazil on a mission to investigate a Japanese submarine, large enough to transport three bombers. The vessel was abandoned by German forces deep in the jungle near Hell's Gate, the mysterious region where Col. Percy Fawcett and his team vanished during his search for the fabled City of Z in the 1920s. Meanwhile, some strange creatures, known to the natives of the target area as chupacabra, have begun picking off German soldiers. The biological basis for the monsters is solid, and the unusual effect they have on the minds of their prey is a plausible extrapolation from known species. The authors adeptly balance science and suspense, and a detailed afterword lays out how much of the story line is based in history. Michael Crichton fans will be pleased that the ending leaves room for a sequel.