The Helios Conspiracy
The Helios Conspiracy
Just before Icarus Sun Works is to launch its new solar energy collecting satellite into space–the success of which will mean the world’s energy problems may be solved–it’s vice president is murdered in a New York hotel. She was the former girlfriend of FBI Special Agent Andy Fisher, a cynical, chain smoking, coffee addict who flouts authority and constantly flusters his supervisor. Investigating the case, he is on hand when the satellite launch turns disastrous and the rocket explodes. Sandy Chester, Fisher’s friend wants to discover why. Before long, however, Fisher is trying to connect the murder and the explosion to a series of sabotages to various energy related companies. But who is behind the conspiracy? The Russians? The Chinese? As the launch of the next rocket draws near, Fisher and Chester must avoid their own murder attempts and discover the answers before disaster strikes again.
It’s a very modern thriller with real life possibilities, at least in the science. I wondered for awhile about the way the plot kept diverting away from Helios into the other areas of sabotage. DeFelice does connect the dots, but it’s a wild picture when finished.
Andy Fisher: FBI special agent, has been in various FBI departments. No supervisor likes him but can’t deny his success rate. Chain smoker, cynical, wisecracker, athletic build, azure blue eyes, likes coffee
Jonathon Loup: Owns portions of various electric/energy companies, market speculator, in debt
Gavril Konovalav: Russian. Corporate spy. Usually awakens around noon.
T. Parker Terhoussen: Owner of Icarus Sun Works, tall, thin, past middle age but with youthful, glassy looking eyes. Egotistical. Genius. Attended MIT with a free ride.
Sandra Chester: rocket builder, father died when she was in high school, genius but not overt about it. Had laser eye surgery so doesn’t wear eyeglasses. Former smoker.
Em: professional assassin. Alcoholic. Former soldier in Afghanistan. Logical thinker. Got into trouble with an operation in Europe.
I really enjoyed Fisher’s boss, Festoon. His paranoia and wanting immediate answers plays the best straight man into Fisher’s unique personality. I also enjoyed some of the character names. The way they are thought by Fisher is so well done because of the humor involved. It keeps the book from going down the tubes into cold-hearted seriousness.
Lots of one liners from Fisher. I think his dialogue keeps you interested in the lecture type stuff from the supporting characters.
Scenes with characters other than Fisher have a glaze of cynicism layered over the narrative. With Fisher’s scenes it’s slathered on in a delightful manner. Chapters vary in length. Quick action scenes, no drawing out of tension, just bam, bam, you’re done. A few instances of profanity. The science is not difficult although I didn’t totally understand the rocketry intricacies. It’s no conspiracy why DeFelice is at the top of his craft.