cover image The Nostradamus Prophecy

The Nostradamus Prophecy

John S. Powell, Author Belladonna Press $23.95 (354p) ISBN 978-0-9661922-5-4

Just about everything goes wrong for the good guys in this sometimes rousing but woodenly written thriller of nuclear warfare. As five nuclear warheads stolen from Russia menace the U.S., a group of CIA operatives and assorted helpers, including Israeli agent Tovi ""Sandman"" Hersch and ex-CIA counterterrorism agent Laurence ""Friar"" Clarke, race against time to locate and destroy the rogue weapons. They are too late to save southern Manhattan, however, and the debacle fulfills 16th-century Nostradamus's prophecy that a ""Great New City"" would be destroyed via a nuclear explosion at the end of the millennium. The president's national security director, aptly named Bastardi, makes a major power grab with a high-tech arsenal. By climax time, the mountains of North Carolina are swarming with agents, counteragents, spies, politicians and weapons of various lethalities. Jack Ryan-esque protagonist Clark could credibly be the superhero of his own series (indeed, Powell intends this as the first book in a trilogy on ""the dangers facing the U.S. from... weapons of mass destruction""). Although Powell occasionally fails to follow up promising subplot leads (e.g., the aftereffects of New York's devastation), this is an entertaining enough escapist read. (Aug.)