MY NOVEL THOUGHTS:
This book is alarmingly realistic!
Don't lose focus while reading this book, this is my advice. Vector: Tradecraft: Phase Zero is a mind boggling, frazzling (in a good way) thriller. Told in multiple points of view Vector: Tradecraft: Phase Zero will have your thoughts in a whirl wind.
Vector: Tradecraft: Phase Zero takes place in Boston Massachusetts with Dr. Emma Hess, a top notch toxicologist and Lee Jansen, a DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Agent. Agent Lee is rushed from D.C. and off to Boston to investigate the death of a researcher, Jawhad Khattib, with Dr. Hess. The DHS wants to know how Khattib died, what he was researching and who was he working for.
Agent Jansen and Dr. Hess are teamed up to figure out if Khattib was a terrorist and if he had a dirty bomb planted in Boston. All the clues say yes but this Agent and Doctor find quickly that this investigation is a far cry from the simple case they had thought it was. After finding something more devastating than a dirty bomb, Agent Jansen and Dr. Hess have to collect solid proof of this horrible discovery.
"It's not safe in anyone's hands."
But can they convince their superiors, get the backup they need and put an end to this atrocious case?
Things I like: First and foremost my favorite part of this novel was the the dialogue of this novel and the thought process of these characters. With Shusko's obvious military experience and research, this book was written in authentic and believable voices. The writing in this book is very well written and thought out.
The main character's, like Agent Jansen, Dr. Hess, Sue and Dr. Manny, themselves had well developed voices and personalities. I really liked Agent Jansen's and Dr. Hess' relationship. It wasn't love at first sight or anything like that but more of a burning respect that grew into friendship and then maybe something more.
"But you don't need to do this alone. Let people around you help you."
Although I liked the Agent and Doctor, I really loved Manny. He was by far my favorite character. His voice and personality are humorous yes but also so deadpanned I love it. He's a no nonsense type of dude and a really sarcastic guy. How can you not like him?!?!?
"They taught us a lots of useful things in the Rangers. - And what I didn't learn from the Army, my middle brethren taught me," Manny added. "In other words, you don't want to know."
This is the type of book that you become immersed in and feel like your watching a movie or even walking and talking right along side with the characters themselves.
Things I didn't like: The only problem I had with this book was that although it was well written, I felt myself skipping a bit of the scientific talk. It wasn't intentional and I had to reread the skipped parts because I missed very important explanations. I just wished, not for the scientific talk to be dumbed down or taken away, a little more ordinary talk would have been written. But at the same time I liked the writing just as is and everything was explained so you didn't have to look up anything in the dictionary haha.
MY OVERALL RATING:
Vector: Tradecraft: Phase Zero is a well-written, well thought out and researched, fast pace thriller. I recommend this book to thriller fans or realistic fiction fans. Kudos to you Micheal Shusko!
Vector: Tradecraft: Phase Zero BLURB || source: Goodreads
When researcher Jawad Khattib gasps his last breath on the Massachusetts General Hospital floor, the Department of Homeland Security wants answers—especially after a preliminary autopsy suggests he died of radiation poisoning. What exactly was Khattib working on? And who was he working for? DHS Agent Lee Jansen is rushed to Boston and paired with expert toxicologist Dr. Emma Hess to crack the case. All evidence points to the creation of a dirty bomb, but the clues seem too clean, too obvious. During the course of their investigation, they discover the horrible truth. This new weapon is far more deadly than anyone had expected. It isn’t just capable of killing hundreds—it’s capable of killing hundreds of thousands. Can they stop what’s been set in motion by a madman with a dangerous secret before it’s too late?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Shusko
Michael Shusko, MD, MPH, FAAFP, FACOEM, was raised in Long Branch, NJ. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1985 after graduating high school.
Dr. Shusko cut his teeth in the military in the mid ’80s and early ’90s. As his first assignment, he attended the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, CA, where he studied Arabic. Upon completing his language training, he worked on intelligence and medical missions across the globe. He spent time in Liberia, served as a Marine in the first Gulf War, and worked for several years with the Defense Attaché’s office at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.
After returning to the States in 1995, Dr. Shusko focused his attention on earning his bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from Rutgers University while studying Persian-Farsi at Princeton. He then transferred to the Navy Medical Corps and enrolled in medical school at Wake Forest University, obtaining his Medical Degree in 2002. He received his Masters of Public Health from Harvard University in 2013.
As a Navy physician, Dr. Shusko is board certified in family medicine, occupational and environmental medicine, and public health and general preventive medicine. His Middle Eastern experience and language skills coupled with his background in special operations and intelligence keep him busy deploying around the world. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia, and has been awarded the Bronze Star twice for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He currently lives in Japan with his wife and 16-year-old triplet boys.
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