Ark Storm

Ark Storm

by Linda Davies

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765336736
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 08/19/2014
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

LINDA DAVIES is a graduate in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford University, and worked for seven years an as investment banker before escaping to write novels. Davies's first novel, Nest of Vipers, has been published in more than thirty countries, selling over two million copies. She is also a winner of the Philip Geddes Prize for journalism. Davies is married with three children. She lives by the sea in Suffolk.

Read an Excerpt

1

Late Summer

HURRICANE POINT, CALIFORNIA, MONDAY, 6:00 A.M.

The wave came silently, like a killer in the pellucid light of dawn. Huge and beautiful and murderous. Come and get me. C’mon, let’s see if you can. She could see the swell, bigger than those that had gone before. Maybe a twelve- to fourteen-footer, with a likely twenty-five-foot face. Massive. At the outer limits of a wave that she could surf without a Jet Ski tow-in. Her heart began to race as she lay down on her board, reached out long, powerful arms, and paddled hard She could see the wave in front explode in a frenzy of white water. She could no longer see the monster behind her, gaining on her, rising up behind her, opening its maw, but she could feel it. It raised her up, terrifyingly high. No backing out now. Paddle for your life, harder, faster.

She grabbed the board, snapped to her feet as the wave took her, propelled her down its gnarly face. She balanced, knees bent low, arms outstretched, warrior pose, riding it, wild with glee, high on adrenaline. She skimmed down the face, muscling the board against the yank of hundreds of tons of water. She rode into the barrel, into the unearthly blue, into the moment when time stopped and the universe was just you and the barrel and the roaring in your ears. And then time started again and the barrel was closing, just one split second of escape remaining. She ducked right down, shot out of the barrel, flipped up over the back of the wave. Feet still planted on her board, she flew through air, over water, riding the two elements. Conquering them. This time. Her spirit sang and she yelled out loud. No one to hear her. She surfed alone, breaking the surfer’s code. Just the woman and the sea with the gulls screaming and soaring and bearing their wild witness.

*   *   *

The gulls watched her paddle round to the quiet water, where the waves did not form up to do battle. They watched her paddle in, walk from the water, sun-bleached hair falling down her back: golden skin, freckle-flecked over the patrician nose, which was a shade too long, saving her from mere prettiness. They watched her glance back at the sea, a look of reckoning, part gratitude, part triumph, part relief.

Always the fear, underneath it all. Only the fool did not feel it. Gwen felt it dissipate as she ran up the beach, board under her arm. Death swam alongside the huge waves, every surfer knew that. It was part of the kick, risking your life. The euphoria of survival was her reward. She felt it sweep through her, filling up the empty parts, washing away the doubts. Now she was ready to take them on, to play the games of man. And win again.

2

HURRICANE POINT, CALIFORNIA, ONE WEEK EARLIER

It had begun like a normal day, then the phone rang. Joaquin Losada in Peru.

“Chica. You up?”

“I am now,” replied Gwen, rubbing her eyes, squinting at her alarm clock: 7:00 A.M. She’d been up till three, hitting the tequila with her childhood friend Lucy and her Tae Kwon Do trainer Dwayne and a few of his fellow ex-Navy-SEAL buddies who were about to go off on a trip and were determined to send themselves off in style. The thought that they would soon be boarding a ship while she got to remain on dry, unpitching land made her feel marginally better.

“Switch on your computer. Check the readings!” came Joaquin’s high-pitched voice. It was always high, in a deliciously camp way, but this morning it sounded like nails on a blackboard.

Gwen cautiously swung her legs out of bed, pulled the alpaca blanket around her, walked through to the sitting room, and turned on her computer.

“I’m checking,” she said, trying to focus on the flickering figures as the screen came to life. She twiddled the green jade and gold ring she wore on her middle finger, spinning it round and round in place as she read and then reread the figures.

“Jeez! These temperature readings are off the scale for September. Are the sensors faulty?”

“My first thought. Something’s been going on here with the readings for the past two weeks. I didn’t say anything before ’cause it was just too weird, wanted to give it time to revert.”

“And?”

“It didn’t revert. The temperatures just keep rising. So, either the sensors are faulty or the model has a glitch or we got one hell of a Niño building.”

“We did think it was going to be big.” Gwen got up, crossed into her kitchen, filled a mug with water, downed it. Drips ran down her lips to her chest, dampening her white vest top.

“Gwen, there is big and there is truly humongous. All sorts of weird shit is going on here. We’ve had blasting sun, high summer sun, and we’re just into Spring down here. We’ve had torrential rain, and freakish waves. We’ve lost fifteen sensors in the past fortnight.”

“Shoot! And you think waves have smashed them? They’re meant to withstand extreme waves.”

“Try telling them that. They’re at the bottom of the ocean, my guess, smashed to bits. I’ve been out in the boat looking for them. No trace. And let me tell you, I didn’t want to linger out there, but I forced myself to search. Sea has a weird feeling. Strange color, darker than normal, and there’s almost an electric feel to it. Hot as hell.”

“I know it, like before a hurricane hits.” Gwen paused, asked the question that she never wanted to ask, but which hovered between them, always, unspoken, a nightmare subjugated. “Joaquin, it is the waves, isn’t it? It’s not, well, you know…?” Her voice trailed off.

“Sabotage? Persuasion? The Narco Shitfaces? Chica, I hope not. I really hope not, but I don’t think so. I’m on the lookout. I’m always on the lookout, but I’ve seen nothing. No one. They don’t know about us. Far as everyone in Punta Sal is concerned, I’m just another dolphin freak cameraman who likes fishing. I go out in my fishing boat, no one gives a shit.”

“Keep looking out, Joaquin. I brought you into this.”

“Hey, I’m a big boy, and I will look out before you nag the cojones off me, but Gwen, chica, listen up. What’s here in my face scaring the shit out of me is the freakin’ weather. Something serious is brewing and this is our big chance, Oracle’s big chance to predict it.” Joaquin’s voice had risen what sounded like a full octave.

“Okay. I’m there.” Gwen sat down at her desk, looked at the figures again. Numbers don’t lie. Logic said it was waves destroying the buoys. She blew out a breath. “So what do we need?”

“More sensors, the toughened ones. More buoys, ditto.”

“The expensive ones,” observed Gwen, knuckling her pounding temples. “How many do we need?”

“Forty.”

“Forty!” exclaimed Gwen, mind furiously calculating the cost. “Jeez, Joaquin, that’ll cost nearly half a million dollars. I don’t have that kind of money. Fact is, I have almost nothing.”

“Then chica, it’s time to quit hiding. You gotta get out there, sell a share in Oracle, raise some serious plata, and fast.”

Copyright © 2014 by Linda Davies

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Ark Storm 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
LoveToReadJFE More than 1 year ago
Meteorologist Doctor Gwen Boudain has researched a method for predicting and controlling the Atmospheric River 1000, a naturally-occurring storm that periodically threatens California. Her boss intends to profit from her work by selling the research to a hostile nation along with a process that will allow those enemies to increase its effect, thereby creating a devastating torrential downpour. What follows is a mile-a-minute, pulse-pounding thriller as Gwen, aided by Navy SEAL-turned newspaper reporter Dan Jacobsen, races to keep the ARk Storm from recreating the Biblical deluge. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was a good read, but I was hoping for more science. Not that the book doesn't present some of the science of the Ark storm, but the main character, a scientist, could have explored more about meteorology and her weather modeling program. This book did get me to read up on the Ark storm hypothesis and several papers about the effects of the El Nino weather changes on California. The scientist does face an ethical decision which was a good plot device.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Gwen Boudain has developed weather tracking software and has reached out to Gabriel Messenger for funding to help her software expand. But Gabriel has a creation of his own. He has used Gwen’s software to create rain or even prevent rain in selected areas. This has the potential to help out areas in need or the ability to be used for a weapon. And that is exactly what is happening. Gwen has been followed and her weather software is about to be stolen by a man that wants to use it to destroy America. Gwen then teams up with ex-Navy Seal turned reporter Dan Jacobson to hunt down the terrorist and stop the destruction to come. I really enjoy Gwen as a lead female character. She is well written as strong yet having trouble in her past that she is working over. The story is well written with the development as the main focus. You don’t even really get into the fear of the storm happening until later in the book. I love the science behind it that just made this even more believable. There is so much going on in this story that you can’t put it down. I love how it was written and now I want to read more of Linda Davies stories. Make sure to put this one on your TBR list. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.