cover image Three Minutes to Midnight

Three Minutes to Midnight

A.J. Tata. Kensington, $25 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0625-6

Underground fracking is the unorthodox delivery system for nuclear terrorism in Tata’s riveting second novel featuring Chayton “Jake” Mahegan (after 2015’s Foreign and Domestic). Mahegan, whose name means falcon wolf in Iroquois, has vowed to take revenge on the men who raped and killed his American Indian mother when he was 14. For now the former Delta Force operative and “one-man justice system” does what he can for others. His boss, Maj. Gen. Bob Savage, tasks him with rescuing geologist Maeve Brennan Cassidy, a U.S. Army Reserve captain, who was seized from North Carolina’s Fort Bragg shortly after returning from duty in Afghanistan. Cassidy’s kidnappers plan to use her as an unwitting tool to destabilize a nuclear power plant. Mahegan’s mission to save Cassidy and thwart the threat converges with his personal vendetta against his mother’s killers. Mahegan stands out from the crowd of usual thriller heroes, avoiding the clichéd trope of the mystical American Indian warrior. Vivid descriptions of close-quarters combat are detailed enough to be instructional, and Tata keeps the story twisting to the rousing final pages. Agent: Scott Miller, Trident Media Group. (May)