cover image Ark Storm

Ark Storm

Linda Davies. Forge, $25.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3673-6

An atmospheric river storm brewing over the Pacific threatens the California coast with winds over 125 mph in this absorbing eco-thriller from Davies (Nest of Vipers). Meanwhile, meteorologist Gwen Boudain, who has developed a sophisticated computer program called Oracle that precisely models the weather phenomenon known as El Niño, sells part ownership in Oracle to a venture capital company headed by Gabriel Messenger, a hard-driving derivatives trader, and funded by Ali Al Baharna, a tremendously wealthy Middle Eastern sheik. Messenger reveals to Gwen the company’s secret innovation: a method of ionizing clouds with drone aircraft that will produce man-made rain. Soon, Gwen must elude assassins and untangle a terrorist conspiracy in time to avert a devastating attack using the new weather technology. Despite goofy plot gyrations and a profusion of expository lumps, Gwen is an appealing character, and the manic energy of Davies’s prose drives the story forward to an exciting, if unlikely, climax. Agent: Matthew Carlini, Vigliano Associates. (Aug.)