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98.4 by Christopher Hodder-Williams
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191537,190 (2.75)3



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I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Being honest, this is a case in which the cover totally hooked me.

2.5 stars, rounded up.

Synopsis: Nigel Yenn is a security expert who recently lost his job with a scientific research firm. He is recruited by a UN agent to investigate the firm’s Group Three branch, led by Dr. Stergen. The UN has received reports of inhuman research techniques being used by Group Three to develop a new weapon of mass destruction: bombs containing human brains. Dr. Stergen is creating a WMD by bonding brain waves with computer chips inside ballistic missiles. Nigel is key to revealing Stergen’s plan and stopping him before he starts a war.

Originally published in 1969, 98.4 is dated, of course. It does, however, successfully blend believable science fiction with the Cold War espionage of that age. The great fear during much of the Cold War was that the US or the USSR would develop and a powerful nuclear weapon against their enemy. Ultimately, the national security doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction was developed and followed by both sides, based on the concept that deterrence would prevent complete annihilation. Even still, there were factions on both sides that continually attempted to circumvent the MAD security doctrine. While this is a sci-fi novel, this background is important to understand the plot of the book.

Even though it's dated, the main characters are believable as they react to the threat of this newly-developed weaponry and the potential for another world war. This book will appeal to those who enjoy classic science fiction and Cold War espionage. ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 31, 2016 |
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