Could a tsunami hit Southern California? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. The whole area is geologically very active, so it is certainly a possibility.  This is the premise behind Gordon Gumpertz’s new book Tsunami.

I enjoyed this novel a great deal, Gordon has done a very good job of building his characters and also developing the plot. The hero’s are knights in shining armor, and the bad guys are straight from the loins of Satan, this is what a true adventure/thriller/action novel should be.

Our hero’s are Dr. Leilani (Lani) Sanches a seismologist who is convinced by her computer model that a huge seismic event is going to occur offshore, and cause a colossal loss of life. Unfortunately Lani finds herself at odds with other leading researchers and her University, who for a variety of reasons, not least of which is monetary, would prefer to down play the issue.  Our other hero is Coast guard Commander Dave Steel, who also believes Southern California is in imminent danger.

Our bad guys are a motley assortment of thugs and criminals. most notably George Hacker international shipping magnet and gun smuggler, his main hit man Ho Kai Fat who seems to have been loosely based on the James Bond villain Oddjob, and Harley Wamp, a greedy land developer.

Gordon Gumpertz has done a great job of intertwining what are really three separate stories into one. We have the ‘disaster’ aspect of a predicted tsunami, we have David Steel trying to solve how huge amounts of cheap illegal weapons of Asian origin are finding their way to the west coast of the US, and we have Harley Wamp who stands to make or lose billions of dollars on a land development in Camp Pendleton. For those of you not familiar with Southern California, Camp Pendleton is a huge marine base that lies between Oceanside and San Clemente, should the marines ever move out, this would indeed be 26 miles of very prime beach front real estate!

Tsunami is a tsunami from page one. Gordon Gumpertz wastes no time, the story starts with a bang, and the reader is off on a 300 page wild adventure. Will a caldera form offshore,  will the source of the gun smuggling be found, and what will happen with the land speculation?

I will not give the plot away, but I will say this. Using a very subjective guide, the Simon system of book rating, you can determine how good a book is by the total elapsed time that it takes me to read it. Most books I read 50 pages, and go do something else, read another 50 pages, go do something else, so the normal book takes a couple of days. With Tsunami I sat on the porch, and read it cover to cover in about 4 hours! I could not put it down. I know this is a cliché, but I have to say it anyway, Tsunami is a page turner.

You can pick up your copy of Tsunami from Amazon.

Simon Barrett

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