by Robert Byrne

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The title is a code name for a secret nerve gas that temporarily paralyzes those who come into its range. Gil Ellis, a chemical engineer involved in its development at a private company in Nevada, is killed before he can tell anyone besides his estranged wife that a shipment of the gas has been sold to Iraqi terrorists. The gas is loaded into three cars of a new high-speed freight train heading for Oakland, but another terrorist group, having learned of the sale, has set small explosives on the tracks along the way. As the gas slowly leaks out, people in towns along the railroad are frozen in place until rain finally frees them (the effect of the gas is dissipated by water). Meanwhile, Karen Ellis learns of a major explosion due in Oakland; with the help of a man who worked for the rail company, she races clock and train in an effort to avert disaster. The best parts of this made-for-TV-type thriller come on the railroad, including a smash-up climax in San Francisco Bay. Byrne also wrote Skyscraper and The Dam. (August)

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