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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

“Thompson … uses his knowledge to add a frightening, in-the-headlines sense of reality.”


OMAR: A Novel


Brief Synopsis: A wave of worldwide terrorism, with far-reaching, cataclysmic effects, was set into motion in 1995 at 2077 fathoms aboard RMS Titanic. Woods Hole oceanographer, archaeologist and maritime law specialist at the Smithsonian Institute, Dr. Cary Parker, challenged the terrorists on his own turf, and what followed was an adventure of legendary proportions.

Reviews


“Has a great plot…. Found it very captivating and hard to quit reading..” Amazon Review By Goog, May 9, 2012 Format: Kindle Edition

“Thompson is an authority on terrorism and uses his knowledge to add a frightening, in-the-headlines sense of reality.” Rich Gotshall, Indianapolis Star

"...OMAR forecasts tomorrow's headlines.... This well-researched fiction is a timely window into potential disasters for unprepared nations." U.S. Senator, Richard G. Lugar Fmr Member, Select Committee on Intelligence



A short excerpt from the suspense-thriller, OMAR: A Novel (A Cary Parker Thriller). Dr. Cary Parker and CIA Mideast Bureau Chief, Colonel Charles Bramson, confront Parker’s former French Canadian partner—a Québécois and mercenary diver—Henri Dupont:

CIA - MIDEAST OFFICE - LANGLEY 06:18 EDT – May, 1995

COLONEL Bramson's deep-set eyes moved as if watching Sampras and Chang at Wimbledon. But his head never budged. The CIA Bureau Chief 's mouth was drawn tight, creating rows of lines in his face that resembled a Chinese shar-pei. His bushy silver eyebrows furrowed, and he silently gazed as two men exchanged verbal volleys.

Parker could never be as angry as he wanted to be at his former partner, Dupont. Disillusioned, deceived, cheated. Those were emotions Parker felt as he tried to convince him to stay away from the North Atlantic's most famous tomb.

"Damnit, Hank, we've been over this before. You made a personal commitment to me years ago when you promised to uphold the sanctity of the Titanic's gravesite. Then you brazenly went after anything that wasn't riveted down and already taken by salvors. Now you're at it again."

"I had no choice, Cary."

"You had no choice," Parker repeated sardonically.

"Oui, my friend." Dupont's square-cut handsome face showed some aging, more from conflict and stress than from his still youthful thirty-six years. Gray already streaked his jet black hair—now drawn into a short-cropped ponytail. And his stubbled chin showed signs of a salt and pepper beard. An inch taller than Parker, Dupont's imposing stature seemed to flag a little, with his now slightly stooped shoulders and protruding paunch.

"There just isn't enough money for scientific exploration without some type of payback," said Dupont. "You were being pigheaded and Taylor had the money."

"And Taylor is squeaky clean, I suppose."

"Look, I'll admit I was greedy. The pay was astronomical. But if we had not salvaged what was left, someone else would have gone in there."

"Shit, Hank. It didn't have to be you. You know it wouldn't have been me."

"Je sais! I know. I admit it. I've admitted it repeatedly. But that doesn't change the way it is out there."

Dupont was more comfortable with leaky sub batteries at 2200 fathoms than when his old friend attempted, feebly, to filet and grill him into submission. He wondered if Colonel Bramson would finish the job.

"You think you are squeaky clean, Cary," Henri ranted on.

"Frankly, I tire easily of your holier-than-thou attitude." He looked at the colonel, expecting cross fire at any moment. Bramson glared back but remained silent, and Dupont turned back to Parker. "You are nothing but an idealist," he sneered. "Idealists have wonderful thoughts about the way everything should be. But my thoughts concentrate on how things are. And right now international law is on my side."

Henri walked to the window and looked out over the still-lighted compound. He turned to face his adversaries and his azure blue eyes cast an intense gaze across the room. "I must tell you, I came here at this ungodly hour, not because I was ordered, but because I thought we might find common ground."

"Common ground, yes," Parker growled. "Cancel your expedition. Inform C.P. you're not going. Then dive with us to protect what little that's left. We've got to keep the Omar out of Third World hands." Parker faced Dupont directly.

"Look, Henri, I've seen first hand what terrorists can do. You can't imagine the carnage—the little children, the unsuspecting and innocent families leaving on holiday. You can't possibly conceive… "

"You think me naive?" Dupont coldly interrupted. "I've seen such devastation before. In Québec, we had violence and murder, en masse, when Libération du Québec attempted their revolution. And I've been in France, where terrorist groups grow like the mushroom. I was there when Saint Michel Metro station at Notre Dame Cathedral was bombed. Separatists have bombed the Palace of Versailles, and Corsican liberationists have attacked Paris and southern France." His face grew red with conviction as he went on.

"Do not talk to me about terrorism. In Montreal, and throughout Canada, we still have right-wing racists who vandalize and threaten Jewish targets. I have seen it all first hand."

"Then surely, Henri," Parker spoke calmly, "you must be willing to join us to avert similar events."

Dupont changed the subject. "I have a contract. International law does not prevent me from my right to salvage wrecks. Many countries encourage it. I will carry out my business."

"Which business is that, Hank?"


The next excerpt from OMAR: A Novel will appear in Novel Bits Friday (then, each succeeding Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday in June). We invite your comments or questions.

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