Miranda Chase—the heroine you didn’t expect. Fighting the battles no one else could win.
When one of their own is threatened—the nation’s #1 air-crash investigation team enters a race to survive.
An airliner downed on a Pacific atoll. A CIA covert strike team sent in to “clean it up.” An old enemy seeks revenge. This time, the NTSB’s autistic air-crash investigator, Miranda Chase, and her team are in the crosshairs. The action races around the globe as US military airbases become shooting galleries and their lives are placed on the line.
And hidden from sight? A treacherous plan to grab political power and start a new war with Russia in the Middle East. Only Miranda’s team stands in their way, if they can survive.
39,000’ over the South Pacific
Aboard a badly damaged Airbus A330
“Okay if I place a call?” Holly buckled into the cockpit’s jump seat.
“You’d need a sat phone from here to—” Dani glanced back.
Holly pulled out her satellite phone and waggled it at the pilot who nodded reluctantly.
“This is Miranda Chase. This is actually her, not a recording of her.”
“Hey, her.” Holly could feel herself relaxing, even if Miranda was three thousand miles away in Seattle, it made Holly feel better just to hear her voice.
“Where are you? Passing over Johnston Atoll? Can you see it? I’ve always wanted to go there.”
“Funny you should mention that. I expect that I’ll be seeing it real soon now—up close and personal like.” Holly proceeded to describe what she’d seen of the engine breakaway and the wing it had battered so badly as it broke free.
“The runway on Johnston Atoll is not authorized for use. Not even for emergency landings.”
“Good, they can come arrest me if we survive. Warm cell, three squares a day, bolted solidly to terra firma—I could get down with that. Besides, that’s part of the fun of an emergency, you get to break all sorts of rules.”
“I was never particularly good at breaking rules.”
“Are you with the pilots?” Holly could hear the fast rush of computer keys.
“Speakerphone.” Miranda was also never one for the niceties of conversation.
She continued as soon as Holly had switched over and called for Dani and Quint’s attention.
“Temperature at Johnston Island Airport is eighty degrees; winds are east-northeast at seventeen so you’ll be landing on Runway 23 with an elevation of two meters above mean sea level. Barometer is currently 29.96. Visibility is reported at ten miles in light haze.” She continued with their best rate of descent for minimum wing-loading stress, proceeded to tell them what landing configuration to select right down to flaps and airspeed, and might have told them every detail of the approach if Holly had let her.
“If I don’t die, Miranda, I’ll give you a shout on the mobile to let you know.”
“I’ll get the team in motion.” Because, of course, Miranda would want to investigate the cause of the crash, whether or not they died. “If it’s going to be a water landing, call me and we’ll mobilize the Coast Guard.”
Which was surprisingly thoughtful for Miranda. Holly knew that Miranda’s ASD—autism spectrum disorder—made it extremely hard for her to think about people.
“Though I wouldn’t hold out much hope for recovering the aircraft if it does go into the ocean. The abyssal plain comes within a few kilometers of the atoll and is principally below the four-thousand-meter mark. Recovery from those depths is exceedingly difficult.”
So much for thoughtful. Thoughtful about the plane anyway.
Miranda’s parents had died in the 1996 crash of TWA 800, which was recovered from a hundred and thirty feet of water just off Long Island, New York—not thirteen thousand feet off a remote Pacific atoll. She’d have been sure to remain very well-educated on the complexities of deep-water recovery operations.
“That’s an extremely unlikely type of double event, breakaway and then an uncontained turbine failure in the same engine. If anything, the opposite would be more typical, but an ES is an exceedingly rare event. That’s remarkably interesting. It is difficult without a more recent inspection of the skin buckling, but based on your initial description…” there was another sharp rattle of a computer keyboard. “Models are projecting a nineteen percent chance of losing the wing on gear-down and an eighty-two-point-five percent chance of losing the wing during the landing.”
“Thanks. I’ll hopefully be in touch soon, Miranda.”
“Okay. Bye.” And she was gone.
“Who the hell was that?” Dani snapped out, but Holly noticed that she was flying exactly on the profile Miranda had recommended.
“She’s the NTSB’s top air-crash investigator.” Holly considered what a lame statement that was to describe her. “She’s…unusual. But she’s also rarely wrong.”
Miranda, despite all her oddities, was also her friend.
It was going to really suck if she herself died, because neither she nor Miranda had a whole lot of those.
USA Today and Amazon #1 Bestseller M. L. "Matt" Buchman has 70+ action-adventure thriller and military romance novels, 100 short stories, and lotsa audiobooks. PW says: “Tom Clancy fans open to a strong female lead will clamor for more.” Booklist declared: “3X Top 10 of the Year.” A project manager with a geophysics degree, he’s designed and built houses, flown and jumped out of planes, solo-sailed a 50’ sailboat, and bicycled solo around the world…and he quilts. More at: www.mlbuchman.com.
ML "Matt" Buchman -USA Today / Amazon #1 Bestseller action-adventure thrillers/romance/SF&F Sign up for my newsletter at: http://www.mlbuchman.com
LINKS (series pages)
I love Miranda and her team, and each exciting book adds to the rising tension of this series. I wasn't thrilled by some of the creepy scenes in the earlier stories, and I have missed some of books in the series, but there is no problem reading each tale as a stand-alone, although one savors the developments much better if one starts with the very first story in the series.
I've been anxious to read "Havoc" ever since reading the excerpt in the back of the previous story. It did not disappoint. Holly-centric story, revealing more of her background and showcasing her remarkable skills. Delicious twists, exciting action, much-desired character development. The Miranda perspective is always fascinating, and I enjoyed the ending so much that I've read it over and over. Warning to the squeamish, there is a lot of violence, and although one probably could read this as a stand-alone, this exciting tale will be much more appreciated if previous stories in the series have been consumed. As always, this author has penned an exciting tale with vivid and engaging characters that evokes global high-stakes chess games and reminds one of the exciting early Clive Cussler tales or the various incarnations of the James Bond adventures.
A copy of this title was provided for review
The entire series (including the title that is going to be released in June!)