Humankind continues to furiously work at destroying itself. After dealing with atomic bombs in Nevada, the fact that back then, radioactive contamination was never really considered, only dismissed, baffles us who were ordered to serve there. Are nuclear weapons an indictment of the minds that created the phenomenon? The atomic bomb ingredients, the yellow cake (Uranium) illegally mined in the Congo by desperate paupers, are the harbinger of a future with dirty bomb proliferation by despots and stupid, powerful people. Recent new and powerful diseases are in dire need of similar revelations. What have we learned? What are we doing to prevent the annihilation of ourselves from new threats, built from the old? We are on a precipice, a cliff edge trapped in denials. Could something ever be conceded to forever mend our flaws? Something must. This novel is an impassioned endeavor to do some good for all of us.
In a flashback to 1962, he sees himself as the young nineteen-year-old Joe McGrath, an Army recruit doing his duty, unquestionably following orders, and learning to be a man. Who was Joe to question being at ground zero and exposed to the ravages of atomic bomb detonations in the Nevada desert? How was the young soldier to understand what was happening to his body, his mind, his very being as he saw the bones in his hands and fingers through his tightly clenched eyes as the 1000 times brighter than the sun searing light passed in advance of the swirling and crushing waves of winds and energy? It wasn't until years later that Joe learned that he had been part of a cruel and vile medical experiment, along with 600 other infantrymen.
In 1968 when he met Reiko, the girl in Japan, he realizes that even a world apart, the madness of nuclear detonation and its toll to humanity was everlasting. Reiko gave Joe the strength to discover truth. To know that she too experienced the same terror, albeit in a different world gives Joe conflicted comfort. She leads him to understand that truth is stranger than fiction. Together, their anger shifts to a passion for exposing the uncomfortable and horrible nuclear threats. And finally, more than a half century later, Joe reveals the reality of recklessly unbridled, atomic forces hurled against mankind for all the world to absorb.
Reiko and Joe give a gift to all of us: a warning during the most turbulent times of 2022 and beyond.