“The name of the ship is the Fort William” said Sutton, passing McKinley an intelligence dossier. “Royal Fleet Auxiliary supply vessel. We’ve just got hold of what appears to be the wreck site on satellite so finding it won’t be a problem and we can confirm details as you travel. We need to get you down there to secure her cargo. That’s your absolute top priority; we’ll let the Navy figure out what took her down.”
“Two questions sir,” responded McKinley. “Why us and why is the cargo sensitive?”
“Twenty seven thousand ton ships don’t just vanish with no time to send a mayday and, as far as we can tell, no survivors. Random attack? Accident?” The general spread his hands. “We don’t know. But something serious happened at about 02:00 GMT and we can’t ignore the possibility of a hostile action.”
McKinley looked at his watch. It was 04:18. No wonder the morning’s rush.
Sutton glanced behind McKinley to where there was a clock above the soundproof door. “Yes,” he continued, “time’s a factor. We need to get to the cargo before anyone else and we need to keep an ultra-tight lid on the situation. The ship was carrying four WE82 Trident warheads for a submarine that’s not supposed to exist. So it’s definitely not supposed to be in the Persian Gulf with armed missiles in range of the Iranians either. This is above top secret McKinley. Apart from the Joint Forces Command and a handful of admiralty at Faslane who are going mad right now, no-one knew about this, not even the captain of the Fort William. Why your lot? Yours is the only complete team I can deploy at the moment and, like I said, this needs to be completely secret. Not a whisper to the Saudis, the Bahrainis and never mind their neighbours across the gulf; no-one. The Navy are sending a destroyer but it’ll take nearly a day to get there and I can get you on site and working in less than nine hours.”
Xander Richards. Coast: An Act of Burial (Kindle Locations 305-320).
I have a love-hate relationship with thrillers. I love when the action is intense, but I hate when the story telegraphs the suspense to the point that you see things coming. Finding a balance is not easy for all but the best authors. There is a certain finesse that usually takes time and practice to achieve, but when the author gets there, the books can be magnificent. Continue reading