4.3 3
by Mark Nykanen

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A "neo-primitive" cult, possessing secret government documents filled with terrifying information about global warming, kidnaps a famous fashion model and holds her hostage, forcing her to act as their spokesperson. As time runs out, her estranged daughter allies with a dangerous activist group to rescue her, while battling dark agendas from the government and Big Oil


A "neo-primitive" cult, possessing secret government documents filled with terrifying information about global warming, kidnaps a famous fashion model and holds her hostage, forcing her to act as their spokesperson. As time runs out, her estranged daughter allies with a dangerous activist group to rescue her, while battling dark agendas from the government and Big Oil.

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6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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Sonya Adams froze. The sight of the cougar left her as rigid as the little girl sitting in the snow. For eternal seconds the triangle of animal, child and woman remained unmoving. I don't owe these people anything, Sonya told herself. They kidnapped me to get media attention. They may kill me. Then with no more thought than she'd give to breath itself, Sonya began to inch toward Willow, keeping her eyes on the huge lion, at least seven feet from its reddish nose to the tip of its twitching tail. Its teeth were bared, its ears pinned back.
My God, it's going to spring.
The girl started to sob.
"Willow, it's okay," Sonya said in a deliberately loud voice. "It's just a big old cat. Please don't cry, and I want you to stay really still. Do you know how to play freeze tag?" The whole time she talked, Sonya moved closer to her, saw the girl nodding her answer, and said, "Good. I want you to stay frozen right now. That's really important."
Four more steps and she could stand in front of her. As she eased forward, she slowly slipped off her bearskin coat, then raised it high above her head, making herself look as large as possible.
One more big step and she'd be standing between Willow and the cougar. But that's when her leg post-holed in the snow, all the way to her thigh. She almost toppled over, and felt a stabbing spasm in her lower back when she righted herself.
To her horror, the lion's hind feet pumped, ready to leap.


All over the world, people were riveted to their televisions for another glimpse of kidnapped fashion model Sonya Adams, held captive in what appeared to be a survivalist encampment somewhere in thewilderness of the Pacific Northwest. Passengers for an American Airlines flight from Chicago O'Hare to Miami crowded closer to a screen tilted down toward the departure lounge.
A blue-suited gate attendant announced that boarding was about to begin. "Quiet!" snapped a tall man in a dark overcoat. He and the other passengers had their eyes trained on CNN, which was airing the latest Terra Firma podcast. This one, however, did not feature Sonya.
Only a document stamped Top Secret filled the screen, as the altered voice of the podcast's female narrator-an environmental hero or a lunatic terrorist, depending on one's perspective-announced, "On Christmas day, Terra Firma will post this highly classified CIA report on the Web. It will be our gift to the world. But we are sorry to say that it is far more frightening than any act ever contemplated by any terrorist anywhere. 'Methane: Global Warming and Global Security' was authored by scientists with the highest security clearances in our government."
The podcast showed a close-up of the title. "The report reveals that officials know that massive deposits of methane that had been frozen in the seabed of the Arctic Ocean for millions of years are releasing into the atmosphere in amounts far greater than has ever been recorded-or revealed-publicly."
"Oh, my God," a woman said.
"Methane," the podcast narrator continued, "traps heat at more than twenty times the rate of carbon dioxide. For eons the frozen seabed, like the permafrost on land, has sealed billions of tons of methane under the Arctic Ocean. The methane was stabilized by cold temperatures and the pressure of the water above it.
"But temperatures have increased dangerously in the Arctic, and the methane is now releasing from the seabed over thousands of square miles in what scientists are calling 'methane chimneys.' Huge releases of methane in the past have been linked by renowned scientists to the hothouse conditions that gave rise to dinosaurs. We will give the government till Christmas, just ten days, to publish this report first and explain why it has hidden these terrifying developments from the world's people. We say to the government: break your ties to Big Oil, Big Coal, and big money."
The screen went blank.
People everywhere turned to one another in alarm.
At O'Hare, the crowd stood in stunned silence.
"Dinosaurs?" A young man with an iPod pulled out an earbud. "Did she say 'dinosaurs?'"

Meet the Author

Mark Nykanan (website at is an Emmy and Edgar-winning former NBC News Correspondent and the acclaimed author of three previous thrillers for major publishers: SEARCH ANGEL, THE BONE PARADE, and HUSH.

All of Mark's previous novels have been selections of the Doubleday and Mystery Guild Book Clubs.

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Primitive 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
Mark Nykanes's Primative is as tense a book I've ever had the immense pleasure and great privilege of reading. It has a knock your socks off knock out punch from the first page and doesn't stop until the last page is done. Come take the scariest ride of your life on this Eco-Thriller, apocalyptic roller coaster ride, where the lines between villain and hero have never been thinner and where the final outcome could be the fate of the world as we know it. We have never had more unlikely heroines in Sonya Adams middle-aged model and her multi-pierced, multi-faceted daughter Darcy, but as you get better acquainted with them you'll see just what stuff they're made of. Mark is an exceptional storyteller, with dramatic, dynamic descriptive dialogue that takes your senses through many excruciating and exciting journeys and makes his images jump off the pages. He takes his readers through a wild untamed natural wonderland filled with not only natural terrors but human as well. His wonderful characters enhance the story and he is intimately acquainted with each one, they are all well defined and multidimensional. His story line/plot is unique and yet something that could easily wind up on the front pages of any major newspaper or head lines of any newscast. This incredible work of fiction will take you through many emotions, not all of them easy to bear but you will none-the-less find yourself unable to stop turning pages to find out what happens next. It is definitely not a read for the faint of heart, you will find violence here, but it is intricate to the story and in my opinion very necessary. So if you like your novels to be edge of your seat exciting with nail biting, heart racing thrills get ready for the ride of your life.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Renowned model Sonya Adams has no prior notice of a shoot for the Frontier Ahead in Bozeman, Montana, but tells Chatwin Modeling Agency agent Jackson she will be there. She is disappointed that her twenty-three years old obstinate, opinioned offspring Darcy failed to return her call, but that will not prevent her from catching the flight tonight from Denver tonight. Still she feels a little better when she is able to take Darcy out for her birthday before catching the one-hour flight. Sonya is abducted in the Bozeman airport and taken to an isolated area hours from the city. The Council of Consensus survival group informs Sonya she has been found guilty by the Earth's Court of Justice for championing "rampant consumption". They explain her choices are to die brutally or speak up against what she stood for as the cult possesses top secret proof that the feds lied about the timeline of global warming; which is yesterday. The cult blows up a refinery to the shock of most Americans who consider them terrorists and uses Sonya as their spokesperson with authorities assuming she is a victim of the Stockholm syndrome. Though they picture themselves as Malcolm X to Al Gore's Martin Luther King, none of the Council factored in Darcy's obstinacy; she is coming for her mom in spite of eco-terrorists, government, oil or Queen Katie Corwin preferring mother and daughter to come home in body bags. This is an exciting gripping thriller that hooks the audience from the onset when Sonya is kidnapped and never slows down even when terrorists overdo the explanations. The story line is fast-paced built off the premise that global warming is not a theory or in the future, but reality already beyond the point of return as the earth. A profound cautionary tale, Mark Nykanen makes a strong argument that to save economies but not the earth seems like Gregory Bateson's double bind theory with a touch of weak tea from Lewis Carroll's Bread and butter fly dilemma. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago