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Synopsis

The major premise of Ice on Fire is that catastrophic terrorist activity need not be as dramatic as suicide bombings or IEDs or airplanes crashing into buildings. The infrastructure of any developed country is susceptible to attack by relatively innocuous means over time that no one would notice until it was too late. In this novel, Dave Blanchard, a structural engineer, is dealing with the first manifestations of such a plot on a structure that represents the dream project he has been working toward all his life and which is on the verge of completion. That project is a megafloat in the form of a floating airport intended to replace Lindbergh Field in San Diego. Dave's structure also represents the completion of an idea originated in 1914 by a visionary named Edward Armstrong. (Note: In the real world, floating airports have been proposed for several cities around the world, including San Diego. More than a decade ago, the city of Tokyo actually built a smaller scale megafloat and tested it with twin-engine aircraft. The tests were successful.) In his struggle to discover the nature and the causes of the problem with his structure, he sets off a series of confrontations with the perpetrators that force him to make choices between saving his dream project and saving his girl friend, Nancy, whom the evildoers have kidnapped. The question is whether Dave can succeed in saving either or both through a series of traumatic episodes in which Dave is required to exercise the moral and physical courage to face the worst that desperate terrorists can throw at him.

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