Pipeline: A Novel of Suspense

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In the heart of a blistering summer, blackouts in California are causing panic and chaos. People are dying in darkened hospitals. Dangerous convicts are escaping from a Sacramento prison through the powered-down electric fences.

In South America, a meeting between an influential Peruvian senator and the managers of a gargantuan natural gas company could change the balance of power in the Western Hemisphere forever.

A call from the White House ...

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Overview

In the heart of a blistering summer, blackouts in California are causing panic and chaos. People are dying in darkened hospitals. Dangerous convicts are escaping from a Sacramento prison through the powered-down electric fences.

In South America, a meeting between an influential Peruvian senator and the managers of a gargantuan natural gas company could change the balance of power in the Western Hemisphere forever.

A call from the White House in the dead of night plunges special assistant to the president Tony Ruiz into a dark and hellish nightmare. A new Cold War has dawned—at stake is nothing less than America's survival—as a handful of insiders race to save their country from a ruthless, re-emergent enemy wielding the most devastating weapon of all: energy.

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
“A frighteningly believable look at a possible near-future scenario.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Let’s hope Schecter has more thrillers to come. “Point of Entry” is a dandy start.”
Washington Post
“Thoroughly entertaining.”
Newsweek
“What happens when you cross “The West Wing,” “Commander in Chief,” and “24”? You end up with a rip roaring novel about terrorists, nuclear plots and presidential dating.”
Vanity Fair
“Peter Schechter’s new novel sniffs out a terrorist group’s Point of Entry (HarperCollins)...”
Publishers Weekly

A 20-day electrical blackout in California results in 2,000 deaths and nationwide demand for a resolution to the energy crisis in this uneven near-future thriller from Washington, D.C., consultant Schechter, his second novel after Point of Entry. The Russians are secretly attempting to take over Latin America's natural gas fields, and at the same time are negotiating a gas pipeline to be built across the Bering Strait to Alaska. The point of these machinations? A complete stranglehold on America's energy resources. Numerous exhaustively drawn characters are part of the complicated proceedings, including Tony Ruiz, the U.S. president's "special advisor for domestic affairs," and assorted bad-guy Russian officials. Despite the ripped from the headlines premise, each time interest begins to build, clunky writing ("His bloodshot eyes spat fury") brings the reader crashing back to reality. A confusing ending points to a return for Tony Ruiz in a sequel. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
When the lights start going out in America, power brokers around the world start maneuvering to control the remaining energy sources. Life's a gas. For his sophomore outing, Washington political consultant Schechter (Point of Entry, 2006) digs deep into the details of American energy policies-too deep, judging by the sluggish pace and stiff dialogue that characterizes this contemporary polemic. In a plot ripped-almost literally-from T. Boone Pickens's real-life energy-policy proposals, the book finds America backed into a corner over its overconsumption and dependence on foreign energy sources. California is going dark due to a sudden natural gas shortage, and the White House is scrambling to find alternative sources from which to import more. "We can't pretend any longer," says President Gene Laurence. "There are Americans dying today because we can't get them electricity. We just can't keep hoping the market is going to take care of the problem." Schechter adequately portrays the urgency of the crisis but fails to fold the facts smoothly into the thriller mold. The plot pits Tony Ruiz, an ex-cop and presidential advisor prone to Jack Bauer-esque bursts of action-hero antics, and Blaise Ryan, a wildly improbable environmental activist, against the machinations of Viktor Zhironovsky, a Russian energy baron scheming to control America's sources of go-go juice. "History won't give a damn how we got there," boasts Zhironovsky. "What the books will write about is the audacity that suddenly put Russia in control of a huge percentage of the liquefied gas needs of the United States of America." Added in are the futuristic concept of a pipeline linking Russia and Alaska across the Bering Strait;a conspiracy to control the gas fields of Latin America; and the odd assassination. The thriller as position paper, with too much explication and not enough suspense. Washington, D.C., regional author appearances
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061687426
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/23/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.84 (w) x 4.26 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Schechter is the author of Point of Entry, and an international political and communications consultant. A founder of one of Washington's premier strategic communications consulting firms, he has spent twenty years advising presidents, writing advertising for political parties, ghost-writing columns for CEOs, and counseling international organizations out of crises. He also owns a winery, farms goats, and is a partner in a number of successful restaurants. Schechter has lived in Europe and Latin America and is fully fluent in six languages. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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