Charon’s Landing by Jack Du Brul

landingReviewed by Jud Hanson

Philip Mercer returns in Jack Du Brul’s second novel, Charon’s Landing.

The United States has decided to wean itself off of foreign oil by drilling in Alaska. Unknown to the President, there are factions in the Middle East who want to stop U.S.’s plans to drill for oil in Alaska and explore alternative energy sources. One of them is a renegade Arab oil minister, the other Ivan Kerikov, an old adversary of Mercer’s, last seen in Vulcan’s Forge. Kerikov plans to bomb the Alaskan pipeline at key points and crash a supertanker loaded with crude into San Francisco Bay, both of which would have devastating environmental effects. When Kerikov enlists the help of an environmental group known as PEAL, things begin to heat up. Mercer gets involved when three of his friends are murdered after discovering the burnt remains of a fishing boat. Soon after that, Mercer survives two attempts on his life. As if he doesn’t have enough to worry about, he is falling for Aggie Johnston, daughter of a petrochemical magnate, member of PEAL and a burr in Mercer’s side until she realizes what is really going on.

The book is a wild ride from the very first page and the question is will Mercer survive to save the day and get the girl?

This is without a doubt one of the best action books I’ve ever read. Du Brul is a superb author with quite a talent for creating an engaging plot and taking the reader on a wild ride from start to finish. I love the way he takes a real world issue, such as U.S. oil consumption, and weaves a plot that the reader doesn’t want to put down. When you take a mild-mannered geologist with the ingenuity of MacGyver and the charm of Casanova, an arch-nemesis and a beautiful woman, what more does one need? Bottom line: read this book, you won’t regret it.

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