The Tursiops Syndrome
by John C. Waite
How do you get a nuke into the heart of the city? Maybe a dolphin can help. From Author John Waite, the tale of a police detective who matches wits with a mad scientist and terrorists intent on destroying America. When detective Hickory Logan joins Park Ranger Kevin Whitehead investigating the mysterious death of a dolphin she finds herself sucked into a far deeper whirlpool. Can she and Kevin stop the tide of terror that threatens to kill thousands or will they be fodder for a nuclear fireball?
A newspaper review described Tursiops thus: "The writing is, well, wonderful. Waite has a gift for dialogue and story-telling, and his plot is adventurous and perfectly paced. "
Red Logan hunkered down next to the Humvee's left front wheel. He folded his lanky frame in several places to assure that the vehicle shielded him from rifle fire emanating from the house a hundred feet away.
A furious fusillade had greeted A-Company, first battalion, 407th Special Forces when their vehicles pulled to a halt in front of what was a rather strange building for northern Afghanistan. In the early morning darkness it looked for all the world like a California ranch-style home.
But there was no BMW parked in the driveway.
The firefight lasted less than fifteen minutes. There was only an occasional round pinging off the slate-riddled soil and infrequent bursts of automatic fire keeping the soldiers from charging the structure. Red wondered why the squads weren’t using some of the heavier weapons. He knew the unit armament included shoulder-fired missiles and a Carl Gustav 84-mm recoilless rifle but so far, the big stuff had been silent.
The tip had placed Azam al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda's chief organizer for nine-eleven, in the house.
Numerous such tips over the past two years had come to nothing. Most of them originated in minds overly-motivated to garner the twenty million American dollars offered for the capture of several of the world’s most wanted terrorists.
At least one Osama bin Laden look-alike had been found dead. And it took weeks before authorities identified the body. The man had been killed and left in a house to which an Afghan citizen directed U.S. forces. Not only did he not get the reward he sought, but his countrymen also jailed him for mutilating the corpse by cutting off its hands and feet.
Army intelligence, a title Red thought oxymoronic, had considered tonight’s tip more credible than most since it had come in anonymously. The tipster hadn’t mentioned the reward. So the Special Forces unit had headed out in the predawn darkness for a two-hour drive north from Kabul into the mountainous terrain.
The voice belonged to the figure squeezed into the wheel well behind him.
He could barely see Jessie’s sinewy shape, strangely gawky where the video camera and its now-dark lights rested on her right thigh.
“Yeah, what?” he whispered.
“Should I get some video?” Jessie asked, cocking her left hand back over her shoulder.
“Hell no. We're reporters, not soldiers. CNN's not paying us to get shot. Just keep your ass down. There's nothing to shoot."
Before he could finish his sentence, an amplified Afghan voice rang out from the vicinity of the lead Humvee, imploring the occupants of the house to surrender. The answer was a three-shot rifle volley, the rounds pinging off the hard-pack and whining away into the darkness.
“Now,” Jessie said, pushing past Red and swinging the camera onto her shoulder, leaning on the Hummer’s hood.
“No.” Red yelled, trying to pull her to the ground. But it was too late. The light on Jessie’s camera flared brilliantly then died in a crash of glass and the harsh double bark of a Kalashnikov. The rounds zinged away into the darkness, but Red heard in the report the crunch of bone.
“Jessie.” he screamed.
A Word From the Author
Did you always want to be an author?
That was one of my many aspirations. I also wanted to be a marine biologist, an explorer, and a pilot. I was encouraged to take the writing path in college and discouraged from the other paths because I didn’t like mathematics. Early on in high school, I picked up a few pennies writing love letters for guys who couldn't tell their girlfriends how they felt. I earned a degree in broadcast journalism and went to work, holding jobs in that field in several places, ranging from north Texas (ever heard of Quanah) to New Orleans and other parts of deep south Louisiana, picking up several news-gathering and writing awards along the way.
I worked as a journalist for twenty years in radio in New Orleans and some smaller cities in deep south Louisiana and developed a real taste for things creole and Cajun and made some real friendships as well. Some of that shows up in my books, particularly in my short story volume, which, by the way, is available from Amazon and other online merchants.
Tell us about the publication of your first book.
My first book was a compilation of short stories that I wrote over the years when I was a merchant marine captain. It’s Beauty and the Singularities, a smallish collection (eight stories) set in south Louisiana. The longest story in that one was based on experiences from my days as an editor of a newspaper in Houma, Louisiana. It dealt with a newspaper editor who details the discovery of an ornate casket on an old plantation. In that casket is the nearly perfect remains of a beautiful girl. How that discovery parallels events in the editor’s daily life proves intriguing, and grounds the plot. It was fun to write, particularly as there was some basis in fact.
Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write in?
Although my two major books are thriller’s I don’t plan to write only in that vein. And I can’t say that I have any single thriller author to imitate. I enjoy John Sanford’s crime and thriller series. I have long been a science fiction fan, dating back to the days of Issac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, and Ray Bradbury. I do have a least two science fiction stories underway.
There are simply too many fine stories around for me to pick one favorite. I am currently enamored of Jeffrey Eugenides “Middlesex,” which is a helluva romp through contemporary societies’ sexual morays.
What’s the best part of being an author? The worst?
The best part is strictly personal satisfaction of knowing that you created something that entertains and (perhaps) enlightens. The entertainment factor, of course, has so many aspects that it can be measured only by the readers. I enjoy manipulating language with the stated purpose of eliciting a reaction from the reader. So I particularly appreciate the commentary on what I write. That doesn't mean that poor reviews will stop me from writing. Any author has to appreciate his critics, even if he or she feels the comments are undeserved. Of course, remuneration is appreciated.
What are you working on now?
I have several things underway. I am constantly starting short stories and plan to complete some of them. And I have a biography of my best friend started and several chapters completed. But I am too close to that story. He died in Vietnam back in ‘65 and I find telling his story may be more complex than I have the ability to portray. But I plan to keep working on that while I produce some more mundane products, including a science fiction story or three. Some of my more recent pieces, poetry included, have been published by the online journal Page and Spine over the course of the past year. They can be read there.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Thousands of author John C Waite’s words flew past Alpha Centauri years ago, heading for the center of the galaxy, perhaps sparking an arthropod’s grin in route. Waite, a degreed journalist and retired Merchant Mariner has numerous writing and broadcasting awards to his credit, and millions of words in print and broadcast media. Originally from New Orleans he has called Panhandle Florida his home for fifty years, but still retains a taste for things Creole and Cajun. A recreational and professional sailor, his travels have covered the Caribbean, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, portions of south and Central America, Canada, Hawaii, Ireland, Britain, and Europe. John resides in Pensacola, Florida. He is a father to four, and grandfather to four. His books are available on Amazon.
The book will be on sale for $0.99 during the tour.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
John C. Waite will be awarding a $50 Gift Certificate to Nuts.com to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.