Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Book Spotlight: 72 Hour Protocol by Howard Manson

72 Hour Protocol
by Howard Manson


An American scientist with knowledge of nuclear secrets is abducted in China, interrogated, and tortured before being spirited away into a three-day mind-melt in this debut spy thriller from Howard Manson.

Katherine Richmond has two secrets. The Chinese want one of them—and the Americans, embroiled in the political scandal that brought her here, want her to give it to them!

But she isn’t talking, and it falls to ex-Ranger, double agent, master interrogator and torturer, Chinese/American Michael Sunday to use any means possible to learn what she knows.

Three days of constant running, without sleep, they grow close and begin to share a personal hope together. As the certainty of her fate as spy becomes all-to clear to them, they fiercely battle all sides in an effort to save her life…or at least that’s what he says they’re doing.

In China where Tao is The Way, it’s wise to remember: Warfare is the Tao of Deception.

the conversations between Sunday and Katherine keep the narrative moving regardless of the evil political machinations going on around them.

Their back-and-forth banter feels natural and fluid, making these two more interesting and relatable by the page.

Manson’s clear technical knowledge of the work Sunday does, whether interrogation or inflicting pain, is impressive.

The couple’s strange desire for success, unwillingness to compromise and sudden passion for one another all lend depth and nuance…

…strong characterization and an impressive ear for dialogue. –Kirkus Reviews

Read an extract of the book after the jump

72 Hour Protocol
© Howard Manson 2012

“And this is what I learned: There is no last gateway. Just as there was no ether, there is no dark matter, and there are not three or four dimensions, or thirteen, no electrons or vibrating strings. None of it exists. Only the math exists, and the potential for all things to exist. Michael, look around you now: color does not exist, not in that man or his boots, those weeds and oil, not in the sky. There is no independent existence that can be called color. It is absorption, reflection and perception, no less magnificent than Hubble’s pictures of the ‘Pillars of Creation’ in the Eagle Nebula, in M16. But we see false colors assigned to wavelength spectroscopy, far-infrared, radio, and optical data to make images of chemistry, gas and dust and temperature, but fly by them, you’ll see nothing. They don’t exist. And that’s why I changed majors. Because I want them to exist; they have to exist.”

“I’m sorry, but why would that cause you to change majors? I would think all this would instill a deeper interest.”

“I don’t want to analyze gray mathematical constructs or rationalize points of view on a scale that has no meaning to my life. I want to experience sound and color and momentum. I’d already read about Disneyland when I was ten; what I wanted was to go there.”

“You’ve been to Disneyland since; doesn’t that mitigate some of the childish disappointment?”

She was looking at the ground a few feet before her steps, lips pressed tightly.

“You haven’t been to Disneyland?”

Her eyes stayed fixed on the road as she shook her head side to side.

“Well, there’s worse things.”

Still staring at the road, she was nodding her head up and down in agreement, “China! You said it yourself…I’ve been acting like a ten year old…poor stupid Katherine, the petulant child who does not know danger, floating around China like a butterfly at the massacre of Nanjing. Seemingly insignificant, she goes about her little business unaware of the world around her and how little time she has in it, knowing only that the warm sun feels good.”

End of extract.

Like to read more? The book is available for amazon kindle and in paperback at B&N

You can also read an interview with the author here:

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