Perseid Collapse builds strong base for thriller series

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 9.50.18 AMWhat happens when you combine an eye for technical detail with a gift for gritty immediacy and a feel for family dynamics? You get The Perseid Collapse, by Steven Konkoly, a meticulously researched, frighteningly real depiction of one family dealing with a deadly disaster.

The Perseid Collapse picks up main character Alex Fletcher and his family a few years after the events of Konkoly’s earlier thriller, The Jakarta Pandemic. Fletcher and family are again hit with a crisis that they must face with little more than their own resources. Luckily for the Fletchers, Alex is an ex-marine who learned his lesson about disaster from his family’s experiences in the Jakarta outbreak. He has invested considerable sweat in planning and stockpiling gear for the next disaster. When his family is struck by terrifying events in the beginning of the book, Fletcher and clan go into full scale operations mode and try to carry out the plan. But as the pre-WWI German strategist Von Moltke famously said, “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Alex and family must improvise and deal with the increasingly chaotic events on the ground as society slides toward anarchy. They find themselves facing split second, life-and-death decisions that ramp up the story to a deadly intensity.

This book reveals Konkoly as a polished writer in ways large and small. One is his knack for presenting a large-scale event with just enough detail to let us know something world-changing is taking place but leaving its origins a captivating mystery. In The Perseid Collapse an object appears to have struck the Earth from space, but we don’t know the full extent of the impact, or why it seems to have devastated so many aspects of modern technology.

Konkoly marries this skill at conjuring large scale uncertainties with the small scale certainties of the smart, experienced and adaptable Alex Fletcher. Fletcher is a one-man force multiplier, his military training and cool skill work to meld his two suburban friends, Ed and Charlie, into an effective action team. Together the three must hurry from Maine to Boston attempting to rescue stranded family members. Fletcher’s encyclopedic knowledge of weaponry and tactical ops serves his family and friends well. He is the rock of the group — the type of guy you’d want alongside you when it all hit the fan. And Konkoly pulls no punches here. He shows us a post-disaster world of troubling moral conundrums. He dares us to keep up when he shows Alex’s grim determination to meet out the ultimate violence when he deems it necessary.

Many thriller writers would be more than happy with hitting just these notes so well. But Konkoly also draws a picture of a real family with stresses and strains dealing with an extraordinary situation. His dialog and details are telling. I hope he continues this thread of the story and develops these characters even more fully. The Perseid Collapse ends with a cliffhanger — we know there is more adversity and adventure to come in the next installment of the series, The Perseid Collapse: Event Horizon. I highly recommend you grab The Perseid Collapse at Amazon.com and jump aboard for the ride!

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