Bill Napier is an astronomer at Armagh Observatory and an honorary professor at Cardiff University. His three previous thrillers, NEMESIS, REVELATION and THE LURE, have all been published by Headline. He lives in Ireland with his wife.
Napier follows up his Da Vinci Code-esque Splintered Icon with a novel that mines Cold War Communist hysteria, of-the-moment natural disaster anxiety and, yes, centuries-old-secret-code mania for a winning thriller. In the near future, British physicist Dr. Oliver Webb is recruited for a top secret assignment. A reconstituted Soviet Union has concocted a brazen offensive against the free world, redirecting an asteroid, code name Nemesis, on a collision course with the United States. Webb and his colleagues have five days to locate Nemesis and conceive a plan to stop it before the United States will be forced into a preemptive nuclear strike against the Russians. As pressure to find the celestial needle in a haystack mounts, Webb becomes convinced that the secret to locating the asteroid lies in a manuscript written by a little-known Italian astronomer more than 400 years ago-a manuscript already procured by a murderous adversary. Meticulously researched-especially sobering are descriptions of the destruction an asteroid strike would wreak on humanity-Napier has delivered a thought-provoking and speculative novel, with plenty of twists to keep the pages turning. Fans of Michael Crichton will find a kindred spirit in Napier. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.