"It is imperative that we slow the progress of the test detonation- our mission depends on it."

Two reporters from New Mexico, Blake and Nate, catch wind of the clandestine activities surrounding the development of the first atomic bomb. The United States government is ready to test its newest and deadliest weapon. If it works, it will change the scope of modern warfare forever. Ostensibly to minimize the risks associated with testing a bomb of unknown power, the government orders the construction of a containment device, codenamed Jumbo. The transportation of Jumbo to the testing site is plagued with accidents. One man is killed, and another is badly injured when Jumbo breaks free from its restraints. Blake and Nate suspect sabotage and begin to investigate, hoping for a good story. But the man behind the accidents orders his goons to get rid of the two nosy reporters and do whatever it takes to stop Jumbo from reaching its destination.

The premise of James Howell’s story is interesting and not far from believable. Certainly, there was much intrigue during the race to develop the first nuclear bomb. While grammar needs to be tightened up, a jumping viewpoint pulls from the focus. Still, much history and associated facts is minded and integrated within the narrative. The bomb, codenamed “the gadget” within the engineering staff is perhaps one of the most incredible and polarizing inventions in history, and historians will debate its effect and necessity for years. Howell has delved into this controversy by association, as well as his story of its genesis.

Return to USR Home