Landstrike has gotten its first newspaper review, from the St. Augustine Record in Florida. You can judge for yourself (Landstrike is available for purchase on Amazon and other online booksellers):
Hurricane disaster quite possible
By PETER GUINTA Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009
Landstrike, by Ken Bass
Author: Ken Bass
Book Signing: Saturday, Aug. 1 at Marineland, from 6 to 9 p.m. Wine and hor douerves will be offered.
Florida residents know more than most other Americans about hurricanes and the devastation they bring.
Andrew, for example, flattened south Dade County, and many destructive storms have hit Florida since, costing many lives and billions of dollars in damages.
Ken Bass, an attorney who turned to writing, has written his first novel, "Landstrike," an action story that's a good read, though it could also double as "fictive investigative journalism" or "future history."
His story builds naturally: Tropical Storm Nicole, born in the Cape Verde Islands, begins its westward journey cross the Atlantic Ocean, but when it hits the warm Gulf Stream, it grows into a Category 5 storm, bearing 150 to 160 mph winds.
Nicole flirts with Florida and Charleston, then picks up speed on an uncertain track going north.
Scientists in the National Hurricane Center have perfected a program that accurately predicts a storm's direction, but too late officials realize that Nicole's headed for New York City.
Bass' book describes the fate of people who live directly in Nicole's path: Cops, criminals, nurses, city officials, cruise ship and tug boat captains, journalists, lawyers, rich people and poor people.
Some choose to stay and some have no way to leave.
In any disaster or crisis, some survive and some don't. Heroes and cowards reveal themselves.
Bass also delves into the physical damage the hurricane does to New York by the huge 30-foot storm surge Nicole pushes ahead of her, sweeping everything aside.
As a person who years ago watched the Verrazano Narrows Bridge built, I did have doubts about its fate in the book. But Bass makes a convincing case about his point of view and, in the end, we both hope neither of us is proven correct.
His sense of detail in describing the city's damages seems like he was there and saw it. That's good reporting.
Bass also asks a question for public safety officials to debate Is it really effective to evacuate a city or area, with all the resulting tion chaos that brings, or is it better to build storm shelters in place, which can be expensive and also contains the risk of leaving people in the path of a devastating storm?