by JA Kemp
Trafford Publishing

"If we don't blow ourselves away with that stuff out there that I work with every night, then sure as hell some idiot terrorist will build a dirty little nuke and blow it off in some big city killing thousands, maybe millions."

Jake Harner is a young man in the Air Force, but he is not happy. Every night he sees evidence of the imminent danger of a nuclear attack. His wife, Julie, is not happy either and cannot wait for the day that Jake finally leaves his service. Then one day Jake announces to Julie that he will take an early out, but later reveals a crazy plan to build an atomic bomb. He assures her it is not a bomb that can explode, its purpose solely to prove it can be built and how easily it can be done.

Two years later, Jake, out of the Air Force and his bomb built, is in California. He and Julie are preparing to share the news of the bomb with the media and the world. But when they run into an old friend, Denny and his friend, Ahmad, their plan is complicated: Ahmad discovers their bomb and steals it, determined to detonate it in Los Angeles. The race is on for Jake to stop the unstoppable.

Although written as a screenplay in 1979, JA Kemp's Ashes is perhaps more relevant in the wake of 9/11. While some elements of the story correlate to the 1970s, the premise and the reality of a terrorist attack on US soil is all the more real. Kemp's story gives us action, mixed with a morality tale that reminds us all that no matter how safe we think we are, we can never forget our vulnerability.

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