Thursday, May 2, 2024

Cloaked Deception

Cloaked Deception by Timothy Zahn
5/14/24; 663 pages
Aethon Books

Cloaked Deception by Timothy Zahn is a highly recommended political techno-thriller that reads like an action movie. From the opening we know some group is planning a focused nuclear strike to eliminate one man in ten days. Then we learn that a tactical nuclear weapon has been stolen from an Indian research facility. This starts the countdown to the event that we know is coming but don't know who or where.

There are the two main storylines that are followed in the novel as the clock counts down the days until the planned major event will take place. Two secret agents, using the code names Ten and Eleven, are on a Pakistani container ship in the South China Sea secretly transporting the nuclear weapon. At the same time three scientists are killed and their invention, a cloaking device that can make things/people invisible, has been stolen. FBI special agent Madison Talbot and San Jose detective Natal Delgado begin investigating who took the cloaking technology. Then Angie Chandler, the wife of one of the dead scientists, has a hit squad shooting at her and she escapes with the help of private investigator Adam Ross.

Cloaked Deception is a well-written, detailed thriller that presents itself like an action movie. Honestly, it should be made into a movie. Zahn has all the details for characters, setting, and atmosphere right there, in the plot, along with plenty of new discoveries and twists. There are a whole lot of characters in this novel (but they could be pared down a bit for the movie). The cat and mouse aspect of the people moving the bomb into place versus the investigation into the deaths and stolen cloaking device create an increasing amount of tension as the days pass by and the countdown moves closer to the expected major event. Thanks to Aethon Books for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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