Thursday, May 11, 2017

Blue Gold by David Barker

Release date: May 11, 2017
Subgenre: Near future thriller

About Blue Gold

In a world war for water, who keeps the peace?
The near future. Climate change and geopolitical tension have given rise to a new international threat - a world war for water. This most vital of resources has become a precious commodity and some will stop at nothing to control its flow.
When a satellite disappears over Iceland, Sim Atkins thinks he knows why. He is given the chance to join the hallowed Overseas Division and hunt for the terrorists responsible. But his new partner Freda Brightwell is aggrieved to be stuck with a rookie on such a deadly mission. Freda's misgivings are well founded when their first assignment ends in disaster - a bomb destroys a valuable airship and those responsible evade capture.
Seeking redemption, the British agents follow the trail to a billionaires' tax haven in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and uncover a web of deceit that threatens global war. Whom can they trust? As the world edges ever closer to destruction Sim and Freda must put their lives on the line to prevent Armageddon - and protect the future of 'blue gold'.



Snow was ripping away his senses, one by one.  The horizon had disappeared and all Sim Atkins could do was focus on the back of the person in front of him.  His fingers and toes had gone numb.  Thin air and thick snowflakes fought for priority in his nose and throat.  Stumbling through knee-high snow drifts, urged on by the muffled cries of a guide, Sim was gasping for oxygen.  Big gulps merely delivered a mouthful of snowflakes that melted on his tongue.  A welcome sip of water trickled down his throat.  Ahh, a drink of water.  The source of all his troubles, the source of everybody’s troubles these days.  He tried to control his breathing, deep inhalations through his nose, like a yoga exercise.  But the situation was not helping his inner peace, not one jot.
Sim was clipped onto a rope, part of a chain of people trying to get down the mountain as quickly as possible.  Gopal, the Ghurka who was leading the line, kept turning around to urge them onwards.  The sound of distant explosions echoed off the sides of the mountains, sometimes accompanied by a flurry of movement as dislodged snow cascaded down.
The clouds were starting to part when there was a cry from the back of the human chain. The bald Rabten, who had provided Sim with warm clothes only a few minutes ago, pointed skywards with his pick-axe.  “Chopper.”
Gopal looked around and spotted a small overhang of rock off to their left up a short, steep incline.  “Head for the cover,” he shouted.
The helicopter flew closer and a pair of auto cannons opened fire.  Bullets bit into the snow around Sim, hissing like hot iron on flesh.  Sim’s partner, Freda, was lagging behind until Gopal threw her over his shoulder and carried her up the slope.  All five of the team made it under the rocky out-crop by the time the helicopter had banked and started coming around for a second attack.  The man who hadn’t spoken since Sim and Freda had been rescued unslung his sniper rifle and knelt down, using his left knee to steady his aim.  He waited while the helicopter flew closer and then squeezed the trigger.  The glass on the side of the cabin shattered and the aircraft began to spin out of control.  It lost altitude and as it approached the ground swirls of snow gathered around the helicopter until its tail clipped one of the rocks.  The aircraft folded in on itself as if it had been made of paper all along.  A spark ignited the fuel tank and an orange fireball lit up the snowy scene for a moment.
Sim turned to the marksman to offer his congratulations when he heard a rumble like thunder just above the rocks they were cowering under.  He stood up to see what was happening but Rabten grabbed hold of his clothes and hauled him down to the ground.  Tonnes of snow swept around and over the outcrop for several seconds and then stopped just as quickly as it had started.  For a moment the mountainside was quiet and still.

Amazon | Waterstones

About David Barker:

David was born in Cheshire but now lives in Berkshire. He is married to an author of children's picture books, with a daughter who loves stories. His working life has been spent in the City, first for the Bank of England and now as Chief Economist for an international fund. So his job entails trying to predict the future all the time. David's writing ambitions received a major boost after he attended the Faber Academy six-month course in 2014 and he still meets up with his inspirational fellow students. He loves reading, especially adventure stories, sci-fi and military history. Outside of family life, his other interests include tennis, golf and surfing. 



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