The Mitch Rapp series continues through the hands of Kyle Mills after the untimely demise of Vince Flynn, with this 21st book of the series, and Kyle Mills’s 6th contribution….
Let’s start with a little background on how the plot theme came out to be, in the words of Mr. Mills himself….
The most terrifying thing about writing this book was how little I had to make up. Between actual historical power outages, government assessments of power grid vulnerabilities, and official estimates of the casualties that a long-term outage would generate, much of the book wrote itself. Having said that, things like the details of how attacks would best be carried out and specific locations of critical infrastructure have been purposely obscured or fictionalized.Kyle Mills in his Author’s Note
Plot Summary of the Book Review
The vast machinery that is USA, runs mostly like clockwork and most citizens take that life for granted. The water, the electricity, the abundance of food and other creature comforts all are accepted without a question. But what if someone, turns off the power of the entire continental US, and it cannot be restored before a year?
In such an unimaginable scenario, chaos and mayhem will reign, millions will die of thirst, starvation and disease and the world order, being so closely connected, would collapse.
In such a gloomy, doomsday scenario, this novel resides. An eclectic genius, John Alton, is contracted by the DoE for an extensive threat perception report of America’s power grid. One which, he says, can be taken out by destroying only 9 substations physically, and the rest electronically, and the entire US grid would collapse.
Everything will eventually run out, because this collapse cannot be reversed before a year, by then 90% of the US population would be dead!
Mitch Rapp has to find this elusive John Alton, and get him to stop the destruction, but he eludes his grasp. Intriguingly, the Russians had backed out of this crazy plan but the desperados of ISIS, came forward to try their level best in bringing Americans to their knees.
While all investigative powers of the mighty US government is brought to bear, but Alton’s planning and cunning helps him stay ahead of those hunting for him, including the indefatigable Mitch Rapp. Eventually though, Rapp catches a break, and the climax of the novel follows.
Conclusion of the book review
Increasingly, as the world gets more and more connected, through the ubiquitous Internet, it is also getting easier to control the connection from anywhere else in the world. Recent Cyber-attacks on government utilities and organisations have shown the vulnerability of automated systems.
While it is convenient, smarter and efficient, such connectivity and control falling in the wrong hands, can actually bring a situation like this to life. With the right knowledge and access, somebody sitting in Russia or China, can take away the control of your driverless car and drive it into the nearest Bank!
All firewalls, fail-safes and other anti-hacking measures are as good as their maker, and somebody is always getting better than that. So, all systems have to be continuously monitored, guarded and upgraded to protect against this threat. Fanciful as the book’s premise may seem at this moment, it is only a matter of time before someone attempts to hack into the electricity grid of any large nation.
Then, no power, water, dwindling food supplies, rioting and looting will ensue and a seemingly innocent thing like a prolonged blackout will cripple a country, kill millions and bring all economic activity to a halt and unimaginable amount of destruction will ravage us!
Scary, but very possible….. read this book, it will make you wonder, is total connectivity all that desirable?
*Keep watching this website for more such book reviews and conversations!*
See you on the other side….