I’m a big fan of the thrillers from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Of their solo careers, Preston edges out Child for me. I’ve had Deep Storm on my To Read list for a while because I read everything by these guys whether great (Thunderhead), good (Still Life With Crows), and bad (Gideon’s Sword). I’m happy to say that Deep Storm edges on to the top end of the Good spectrum. It’s not earth shattering in any way but it is a very fast moving and fun sci-fi thriller that can be read start to finish on a long flight or a slow weekend at home. Sometimes that’s really all I’m looking for. Deep Storm benefits from an economy of writing that doesn’t bother with dialogue or scenes that do not in some way add to the plot. This is a pure potboiler and nicely satisfying.
A signal has been discovered coming from beneath the ocean floor by an oil rig in the seas off Iceland. Two years later a massive and top secret joint venture between the United States military and National Oceanic Agency researchers has been launched to investigate the source of the signal. 2 months in to the dig and the workers are coming down with all manner of physical and neurological symptoms. Enter Dr. Peter Crane, a former Navy officer and an expert in the field of deep pressure ailments. He is brought in by the head of the NOA, Dr. Asher, to determine the cause of the ailments. So within the first 20 pages Peter is on his way down 2 miles below the ocean surface to the facility called Deep Storm. It doesn’t take long for Peter to see the bizarre and varied symptoms of the crew first hand, receive some dire warnings, make enemies with the hard-ass Commander Korolis, and learn that what Deep Storm is digging toward may very well spell the end of our planet.
The story twists and turns with revelation after revelation that I’m not about to spoil here. If you are a fan of adventure thrillers than you should find Deep Storm to be an enjoyable read. There is just enough science and history to make you feel like you are learning something even while the story starts becoming more focussed on action, narrow escapes and increasingly nutty revelations. The epilogue, which could easily be the denouement in an episode of the Twilight Zone, is silly but worked for me.
Deep Storm is one of those books that you will read, like, and a year later only vaguely remember. I finished it on Thursday night and had to have it in front of me to remember some of the characters names while I wrote this. You are not going to be listing it on a Top 100 favorites list but for whiling away the hours on a long commute or a couple of lunch hours it does the trick just fine.
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