Verdict: Much like a hurricane itself, Robert Roy Britt’s 5 DAYS TO LANDFALL brings together many differing elements to create the perfect storm of drama and suspense.
Robert Roy Britt’s 5 DAYS TO LANDFALL could not come at a more appropriate time.
Climate change is on a lot of people’s minds these days, and with the onslaught of recent deadly hurricanes wreaking havoc on our coastlines, 5 DAYS TO LANDFALL is as timely as it is thrilling. Indeed, Britt’s book is heavily based on factual events, and the thoughtful research and attention to detail shows at first glance, even to those who are not well-versed in the subject.
Much like a hurricane itself, Britt’s novel brings together many differing elements to create the perfect storm of drama and suspense. One part natural disaster tale, one part crime thriller, and one part romance make for a fast-paced ride. And unlike today’s politicians (especially those on the right), Britt doesn’t shy away from the facts. Throughout the novel he frequently translates complicated weather phenomena into layman’s terms that every reader can readily understand.
Simple explanations notwithstanding, 5 DAYS TO LANDFALL is perhaps more educational than typical natural disaster fare, such as genre classics like Michael Crichton’s Twister or Paul Gallico’s The Poseidon Adventure. One could argue that Britt’s book would improve with less weather terminology and data, but then again, this is also what helps to lend a gritty, realistic quality to Britt’s latest offering (his previous titles include Closure, Drone, and First Kill, all Eli Quinn mysteries).
Britt also succeeds in breathing life into his vast array of characters, most notably meteorologist Amanda Cole, a compelling and driven single mother who has been unlucky in love. However, the subplot involving crime lord Maximo often falls short. Simply put, when considering a force of epic proportions with the ability to be more terrifying than any man or beast—that is, the weather—your everyday mob bosses simply pale in comparison.
5 DAYS TO LANDFALL shines most when it lets the weather be the star. It needs no added drama or pretense. After all, when it comes to the weather, we are really no different than our ancient ancestors. Though our equipment is more high-tech, we find ourselves equally awed and dwarfed by the power of Mother Nature as our ancient ancestors. Britt gives us a front seat to the destruction that often feels far from fictional. In his capable hands, the reader is both chilled and educated. Much like Amanda, in 5 DAYS TO LANDFALL we are left looking to the sky in quiet awe, fearing Mother Nature’s power and envying her secrets.
~Bridget Sharkey for IndieReader