Cannonball Read #43: Impact


I’ve read a lot of Douglas Preston’s books. My favorites are those where he teams up with Lincoln Child – the Agent Pendergest novels, but his own books are really good too. Preston is great at taking a number of diverse stories and bringing all of the threads together in a suspenseful ride to the end.  Impact is another one in that vein, though the end does leave us hanging.

A former CIA operative, Wyman Ford, is asked to investigate radioactive gemstones coming out of Thailand. A college dropout, Abbey Straw, witnesses a meteor crash in Maine. A Mars mission technician, Mark Corso,  is told about weird gamma rays coming from Mars by his soon-to-be-murdered mentor.  The story goes back and forth between all three stories, each one a good tale in its own right.

Wyman and Abbey’s stories wind up intersecting, and they race together to uncover the source of the gamma rays and meteorites.  Of course the government is involved, and their choices could jeopardize the Earth.  Abbey does come up with a solution that saves everyone in the short term, but ending is a little abrupt. We don’t get to see what the final result of her actions are, and that was a little disappointing.  The ride to the end was fun – I pored through it quickly and had a good time.


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