When 43 people die en masse on a freeway in Los Angeles, there is panic everywhere. The cause is determined quickly enough–poisoned gas. But who unleashed the attack and why? The police and government agencies are thoroughly perplexed until Jake Prescott arrives on the scene.
Jake is a scientist who studies air pollution and works as a consultant to various organizations. He is also trained in counter-intelligence, knows several foreign languages, and is a martial arts expert. Over the years, the good-looking scientist has used his armory of skills to patent cutting-edge techniques in the environmental field, taught in colleges, and presented papers, all of which has made him an incredibly wealthy yet grounded man. He leads a quiet life until he lands in LA to present a paper at an international environment conference, at the same time that the attack takes place. Jake is unwittingly pulled into the incident and the ensuing investigation.
Author Ian Kent is no stranger to writing, having penned many marine and historical-themed books. But CATALYST is his first thriller and also the first in his planned Jake Prescott series. Filled with enough suspense and intrigue to keep readers guessing, CATALYST moves at a blistering pace. Kent is sure-footed with his theme and knows enough of the technicalities and research in the field of environmental science to use them appropriately. But he keeps the jargon minimal; just enough for the reader to gain an understanding without being overwhelmed. Kent has also clearly drawn on his travels and has set swathes of the book in different parts of Germany, a place he clearly loves given the detailed descriptions.
Kent’s main characters are well-drawn, and the reader gets to know them intimately as the book progresses. CATALYST manages to hook the reader’s interest all the way through with edge-of-the-seat action, and is, in many ways, a mirror to the present with its themes of chemical attacks, corrupt politics, and terrorism. It is a propulsive thriller that does not lose focus even though Kent tries to blow up the canvas as much as he can by involving every government agency and terrorism group possible. As a result, some of the turns in the plot feels unnecessarily complex and prolongs the book a tad more than it might be.
Ian Kent’s CATALYST–part mystery part crime–is a fast-paced, action-packed story with focused storytelling that will enthrall thriller fans and general readers alike.
~Swati Nair for IndieReader