Force Majeure

Published by: Force Poseidon
Release Date: Fall 2021
Genre:

 
The liberties of a people never were nor ever will be secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
PATRICK HENRY

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
THOMAS JEFFERSON

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
JOHN F. KENNEDY

This sequel to my debut thriller FORCE NO ONE has had a longer than expected gestation, but I'm chipping away at it. That cover is a placeholder for now (please do comment if you like it), and my publisher Force Poseidon has a bunch of other ideas that I like.


The basic story is a reboot of Fletcher Knebels' and Charles Bailey's seminal 1962 political thriller Seven Days in May, about a military-political takeover of the United States government in reaction to the president's negotiation of a disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union. In my spin, ultra-right-wing military police generals have similar disagreements with the fictional president and foment a military takeover of the federal government, intending to take over a low-population-density US state for their new nation. Hilarity does not ensue, and Civil War II may result.


Prologue

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
—Winston Churchill

Your name is Amy Irvine. You are driving along a two-lane asphalt back road, maybe a little tipsy, maybe just drowsy, your favorite shortcut through the toolies to get to your writing cabin. It’s a little two-room thing, hardly more than a shack backed right up to the mountainside, but it has fresh water funneled into a covered reservoir, solar electricity for hot water, refrigeration and internet connectivity, and God’s own panorama of the valley below.

With no light pollution out here, the indigo night is perforated with a trillion stars and a giant disk of harvest Moon. You’re musing about a sticky angle in your second novel, not paying strict attention to the short tallow cones thrown by low-beam headlights.

You don’t use high beams out here because you believe it frightens the desert wildlife.

Then, whipping past—what… are those lights? Reflections? Suddenly, on both sides of the road at irregular intervals, you see streaking past many small flecks of firefly light backed by silhouettes. Your head swivels left and right, seeing dark shapes, random outlines, but comprehending none. After a few seconds, they are gone as fast as they appeared.

When your attention turns back to the road, the man is standing right there doing his impression of a deer in your headlights.

Read the full excerpt