An American agent hacks his way through the Cambodian jungle, looking for the source of radioactive gems. In Maine, a college dropout looks for the site where a meteor crashed to earth. A scientist in California thinks he has made the greatest discovery in history. In Douglas Preston’s novel, Impact
, the three unrelated paths taken by complete strangers come together in an usual cross between mystery thriller and science fiction.
Writing without his usual partner, Lincoln Child, Preston lures readers into believing they’re enjoying a suspenseful mystery, then slowly reveals the story is actually about an ancient and potentially hostile alien civilization. The paths of the three strangers come together with explosive bursts of violence, leaving one dead and the remaining two struggling to save the human race.
Preston’s narration is simple, direct, and compelling; the story arcs of each character pull the reader along the way you might lead a kitten with a string toy. The plot builds to a conundrum, a threat with no solution—until the very last surprising revelation.
I look forward to reading more of Douglas Preston’s work.