It is the year 2039 and the planet teeters on the brink of environmental disaster. Continued over-production and pollution has depleted all resources and made it difficult for people to find the staples of life: food; water even clean air, are all becoming increasingly difficult to find. Countries stand on the brink of war over resources, and the big political powers position themselves to covertly control the aftermath. The Cairo Environment Summit in the summer is meant to allow everybody to come to a point of agreement on what to do but the ageing political powerhouses seem intent only on injuring each other. The Old World wants immediately to limit activity, to reduce the human impact of over production. Their New World antagonists aren’t convinced, wanting to survey the planet’s resources and human activity ostensibly to identify the real causes, but really to consolidate their position before cuts happen. Whoever gains the upper hand in the war of words stands to win the war. However both Presidents vacillate over what to do, mindful of the opposing and competing political and environmental agendas that could derail the whole process. In Europe there is much talking and procrastinating while in the USA the Vice-President begins to position himself to take over from an increasingly unpopular President. Ever determined to stay one step ahead of the Old World, the US turns to its main technology partner who is the world leader in the embedded chip technology. Both powers extol the virtues of this interface which allows the user to access the internet and to maintain contact with family, friends and work colleagues by providing a direct connection between the brain and outside communications. It revolutionises living in the States: Europeans are less embracing, going for the more limited Omni chip over the American Zeus chip which provides an always on connection. After a powerful demonstration of its capabilities the US Government commits itself to a covert operation over which it finds it has increasingly less control. It’s own Senate Committee investigations on environmental change challenge the wisdom of the country’s stance but the two key witnesses soon realise they are fighting a losing battle with all save, perhaps, the chairperson. When the deaths begin, mysterious and without apparent cause, detectives in Europe seek to find out who might be behind the apparently unconnected but similar sudden deaths. In the US secret services agencies wonder whether they can stay on top of the increasing number of human infiltrations that threaten the very security of the country and the military stability of the world. KEY CHARACTERS: George Aspen: 50-something ex Greenpeace activist and eminent environmentalist. He is giving evidenceto the Senate Committee, along with European counterpart and long-time friend Roland Didot, on the state of the environment. When perfectly healthy Didot dies from an unexplained heart attack, George finds himself in a race to save his own life. Gary Knight: 30-something British detective is confronted with evidence that somebody is able to control the embedded chip now vital for military communications. It’s his job to find the person responsible and bring them to justice. He never thought it would take him to the jungles of Panama, masquerading as a network engineer. Andrea Callaghan: young, hot-headed but supremely intelligent computer specialist who is called upon to give expert advice on chip technology and finds herself part of a covert team to uncover and stop the organisation infiltrating the chip. Tod Carter: RAF Typhoon pilot of supreme capability but with the ghost of ex-action in Macedonia which saw him compromise. He is called in to provide infiltration and exfiltration to Gary and Andrea because of his expert knowledge on a wide range of aircraft. Max Stoller: enigmatic and controlling CEO of Stoller Industries dreams of controlling the world from behind the scenes, using his chip technology to infiltrate the minds of the world’s politicians and military leaders. When they ask him for help he cannot believe his luck. Vladimir Nickolayev: a young Russian gaming and computing expert who is employed by Stoller to increase the ability of the Zeus chip. Supremely arrogant, Nickolayev will take any risk and do anything to steal power from Stoller and take the man’s dream with him. Sven Amundsen: Norwegian born European President who never seems able to make the difficult decision even though he knows what he needs to do. Driven by committee and destined it seems never to achieve the greatness of, say, his US or Russian counterparts. Carl Matthews: the US President forced into office by a scandal which rocked the previous administration. Unsure of his popularity and easily diverted from course Matthews is caretaking until the next elections and appears to be in trouble. Alan d’Amato: Matthews’ Italo-American vice-President who lusts for the power of office and seeks to usurp his commander-in-chief. d’Amato has a strong sense of duty to his country first and will do anything to ensure that America stands against the rest of the world and comes out on top. Lieutenant Benjamin Foley: heads up a crack US Marines unit designed to work behind enemy lines and wreak havoc. Captain Kate Mallory: SAS officer sent to the USA to extract George Aspen so he can give evidence at the Cairo Summit. Appeal: Operation Thunderhead is a fast paced thriller with multiple relationships that ranges across the planet. It gives the reader causes to explore as well as think about while having enough pace to encourage page turning. There are multiple threads and storylines which keep the reader guessing while not making it too hard to read and follow. In the style of 24 the action keeps the reader wanting to turn the next page in case they miss any action. And the end isn’t necessarily what you think it is.