A cruise ship loses power in the North Atlantic. A satellite launches in the South Pacific. Professor Malcolm Clare—celebrated aviator, entrepreneur, and aerospace engineer—disappears from Stanford University and wakes up aboard an unknown jet, minutes before the aircraft plunges into the high seas.
An extortionist code-named "Viking" has seized control of a private warfare technology, pitting a U.S. defense corporation against terrorist conspirators in a bidding war. His leverage: a threat to destroy the luxury liner and its 3,000 passengers.
Stanford doctoral student Austin Hardy, probing the disappearance of his professor, seeks out Malcolm Clare's daughter Victoria, an icy brunette with a secret that sweeps them to Saint Petersburg. Helped by a team of graduates on campus, they must devise Trojan horses, outfox an assassin, escape murder in Bruges, and sidestep treachery in order to unravel Viking's scheme. Failure would ensure economic armageddon in the United States.
Both on U.S. soil and thousands of miles away, the story roars into action at supersonic speed. Filled with an enigmatic cast of characters, Sabotage, Matt Cook's debut novel, is a sure thrill ride for those who love the puzzles of technology, cryptology, and people.
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An overly complicated, unbelievable plot mars Cook's thriller debut. Dr. Malcolm Clare, a genius inventor and founder of Glitnir Defense, an aerospace company, hires Austin Hardy and two of Austin's fellow Stanford doctoral students to assist with Baldr, a "weapons satellite, an arsenal of nuclear weapons orbiting Earth." Baldr is capable of emitting an electromagnetic pulse that can disable all electronic devices in a country with one burst. After the professor is kidnapped and a mysterious enemy known as the Viking hijacks control of the satellite, Austin teams with Clare's attractive daughter, Victoria, to find her father and thwart the Viking's scheme. Meanwhile, an electronic burst incapacitates the Pearl Enchantress shortly before pirates take over the Atlantic cruise ship. Fortunately, former Air Force combat weatherman Jacob Rove is aboard. The good guys have far too easy a time thwarting the evildoers. Confusing prose doesn't help (e.g., "His trigger finger was ready to joggle").