- Author: Carl Rackman
- Published: April 2017 by Rackman Books
- Category: Techno-Thriller, Thriller, Suspense, Book Review, Books, Reading
Voyager One. A tiny probe hurtling through the void of outer space more than twelve billion miles from Earth, it is the remotest human object in existence. Callie Woolf, Voyager Project Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is stunned when the probe unexpectedly downloads a series of increasingly disturbing images.
Since Bradley Barnes lost his wife in the 9/11 terror attacks he’s been part of a highly specialised FBI counter terrorism team. As the story opens the team are preparing to assist in a coordinated raid against a suspected source of domestic terrorism. The raid doesn’t go according to plan and there are several fatalities.
Meanwhile in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr Callie Woolf, Project Manager of the Voyager Interstellar Mission, and her team are becoming aware of issues on board Voyager 1, billions of miles away in deepest space. They are unsure whether security has been compromised or the irregularity is caused by something entirely different, but the images witnessed by the team as they download cause incredulity and disbelief. Whatever the origin, something untoward is going on and Callie is soon in fear for her life.
“That’s strange.” Even Schlitzky was rattled.
Callie felt Jerry Pascoe lean forward to her immediate right. His moustached face pushed into her peripheral vision, but she remained glued to the screen. Her gut was clenched and the butterflies were leaping. Her heart was accepting what her mind would not, could not.
“What are we looking at, Leon?” said Ortiz, his voice pitched a tone higher than usual.
“Uh, I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t read anything into this until we’ve had the images analysed properly up at the lab.”
In London, airline pilot Matt Ramprakash, who is also a freelance agent for MI5, arrives at the airport for an impending flight to Newark, New Jersey. A regular, easy trip for Matt…until he receives a text. The instructions cause Matt more than moments of doubt and anxiety but nevertheless he follows the directive from his handler.
Three seemingly unrelated incidents and groups of people destined to collide with deadly force and the atmosphere is tense. The author has created a vivid and compelling scenario.
Carl Rackman has done it again. His debut novel Irex is incredibly good and Voyager, although there couldn’t be more difference in content, is another winner and re-enforces the quality of the author’s writing. This is a fast paced and action packed story. The plot is complex and well thought through, with tension and suspense building as events unfold layer by layer. Well defined characters evolve throughout the narrative.
The story is told in the third person from differing perspectives, which works well, giving a rounded picture of the timeline and intensifying the pressure and intrigue. Add in murders, attempted murder, enhanced humans and plot twists and you have a cracking read. The premise is highly creative and convincing in today’s high tech and power-driven world and has obviously been very well researched, and includes fascinating insights into the workings of NASA and the national security agencies.
I chose to read and review this book for Rosie Amber’s book review team.
About Carl Rackman
Carl Rackman is a British former airline pilot turned author. From a naval military background, he has held a lifelong interest in military history and seafaring. His life spent travelling the world has given him a keen interest in other cultures, and he has drawn on his many experiences for his writing.
Carl’s writing style can best be described as the “literary thriller”, with a flair for evocative descriptions of locales and characters. Complex, absorbing storylines combine with rich, believable characters to create immersive worlds for the reader to explore.
Carl is married with two daughters and lives in Surrey, United Kingdom. Irex is his first novel, published under his own company, Rackman Books.