Jericho’s Trumpet
by Robert Gallant
PageTurner Press and Media

"If we don’t stop the polluters, all of civilization will die. Industrial polluters are legalized serial killers."

Packed with action sequences from the outset, Gallant’s novel is gritty. While on a mission, Weld and Cassidy eliminate former KGB officer Nikoli Zarnov and his son Viktor. However, they only recover one of the two bombs, as Zarnov has sold the other one to an anonymous party. The core of the novel is the hunt for the second bomb, leading the protagonists, Travis Weld and Chesney Barrett, on a chase that leads them from a middle school science fair to Titan Petroleum, a behemoth of the industry that is allegedly dumping millions of gallons of lethal toxins into the water supply.

Interestingly, the narrative probes into the world of environmental science, with Barrett infiltrating the Global Alliance of Environmentalists and gaining the confidence of director Stuart Kramer in order to examine the suspicious conditions in the Atchafalaya Basin, particularly its high naphthalene concentration. Understanding the intricacies of how and why the perpetrator would want to use a bomb within an environmental context is particularly intriguing.

As the plot unravels, Gallant does a commendable job of establishing motives—and the lack thereof—in the characters. The ecoterrorism angle is strong, yet what seems clear cut regarding the culprit is anything but. Throughout, the author uses a constantly evolving plotline to build on the character development of Weld, Cassidy, and Barrett. Injecting a sense of humor between the characters in conjunction with concise, crisp dialogue keeps the audience engaged. Action meets suspense in this thriller that leaves readers in anticipation until the finale.

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