Espionage thrillers have long captivated the reading public. John le Carre (aka, David John Moore Cornwell), Ian Fleming and Tom Clancy come to mind. Slick, elegant, pulsating plots wrapped around heroic protagonists … well, such books keep some publishers’ boats afloat, while at the same time producing legions of adoring fans.
I like those books, too, but I have to say, the opportunity to read “Kiloton Threat,” by William (Jerry) Boykin and Tom Morrisey was eagerly anticipated. Boykin, of course, is a retired lieutenant general – an original member of Delta Force. He helped capture Manuel Noriega, hunted Pablo Escobar and served our country in Vietnam, Iran, Mogadishu, Iraq and Afghanistan. Oh, and he also took a job once with an outfit known as the CIA.
Boykin, by the way, is now an ordained minister who travels here and there to encourage Christians; he is quite popular on the lecture circuit. Frankly, his current interest, encouraging Christians in uncertain times, is one I find to be hugely significant. If you have the chance, you must hear the guy speak; his experiences as a man of faith in the Defense Department generated controversy, which he does not shy away from.
Morrisey provides the writing chops, and it’s not like Boykin teamed with Truman Capote. Morrisey, besides being a well-known adventure/travel writer, is a rock climbing and backcountry ski instructor and certified cave diver. I emphasize that last point because, well, apparently Tom Morrisey ain’t scared of much of anything!
That’s just one of the reasons “Kiloton Threat” packs so much punch as a novel. Boykin’s intimate knowledge of military operations – the detail in Kiloton Threat is riveting – and his familiarity with the interchange in that community, combined with Morrisey’s superb writing skill, makes this one of the best thrillers I’ve read.
The plot revolves around special forces officer Blake Kershaw, who goes stealth into Iran to extract a high-ranking defector who “holds the secrets to Iran’s nuclear plans.” The ensuing chaos plunges the world a step closer to World War III as the Iranians accelerate their plans for nuclear weapons (not nuclear energy, as they innocently claim in public).
I read this book not long after the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and I think that’s one of the major hooks of this book, as the authors take the reader deep into the community of special ops.
Like some of the meticulously researched novels I mentioned at the outset, “Kiloton Threat” immediately eliminates one obstacle when writing in this genre: plausibility.
Allow me, please, the liberty of giving you a sample of the terrific dialogue:
“That’s what they call it.” Pardivari smiled. “I’d learned English from a British tutor and had me this posh accent. Sounded like Hugh Grant. Between that and looking like Ali Babba, goes without saying: I didn’t fit in. So, they had me bunking with a kid from Charleston and I learned to talk like him. Even spent a couple summers at his house when my folks were traveling. Turned me into a genuine hadji redneck.”
He glanced Blake’s way and smiled. “But don’t worry. My Farsi and my Arabic don’t have a hint of Redman or monster truck in ’em.”
Blake laughed. He’d already decided he liked Pardivari.
Kershaw is believable, and his associates are beyond believable, as they race to defuse the Iranian nuclear threat. And I will only hint at an astounding plot point in this novel – a point in which the Almighty intervenes for His people, using a most unusual vessel. You must get “Kiloton Threat” to learn these secrets. It will be worth it!
The novel takes the reader from Washington, D.C., to the Persian Gulf and back again, for a spine-tingling, superhuman effort to prevent nuclear disaster. The characters are believable, and Boykin injects a healthy dose of faith into what will surely become a bestseller. I hope they make a movie from “Kiloton Threat”!