Title: 32 Minutes
Author: Zach Kraft
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Blurb: President-Elect Abigail Armstrong had big plans for her Inauguration Day.
Fielding an ICBM wasn’t one of them…
INAUGURATION DAY, IN THE NEAR FUTURE: A young and optimistic president-elect shivers in the cold, waiting for the ordeal to be over.
Little does she realize, the ordeal hasn’t even begun. Shortly after she takes the oath, the proceedings are interrupted with shocking news: the U.S. military has detected the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The death toll, should the weapon strike the United States: upwards of 10 million people.
Her advisers warn her that there are rules to this game, ones that must be followed if there’s to be any hope of avoiding global nuclear war. Adding to the problem: buried in a bunker, and surrounded by career professionals with agendas of their own, she has no idea what to believe about the conditions unfolding topside.
Soon she learns that the loneliest person on the planet is the one who’s trying to save billions from annihilation.
Review: I was intrigued by the blurb about 32 Minutes. Somewhere in the back of my mind it resonated with another book I had read. Putting that aside, I found myself pulled into the drama of inauguration day complicated by yet another terrorist attack on our country. As I continued to read, I realized that this was the first woman president and that she was having an extremely horrific day. Only minutes after being sworn in, she was sitting in a sub basement war room, face to face with top military brass as well as her predecessor’s advisers since hers had yet to take the oath of office. Talk about out of the box, this trashed the box and its contents.
The military has its ways of doing things and they wanted swift retaliation to such an attack. They were adamant, yet they had no answers to President Armstrong’s questions. They expected she would jump onto the rehearsed protocols of such an attack without hesitation. She didn’t and they didn’t work well with a president who wanted answers to her questions before she crumbled to their demands.
Kraft did a great job sucking me into the plot of 32 Minutes as well as the dilemma facing a freshly minted president, a president who, by her own admissions, didn’t remember much from the countless hours of pre-inauguration briefings. I found this to be an interesting premise. Could or would another country attempt to attack the United States on inauguration day?
After finishing 32 Minutes, I remembered where I had seen a similar story. I pulled out my copy of Tom Clancy’s The Sum Of All Fears, put the disc into the player, and watched as a terrorist group, led by a Nazi leader, detonated a nuclear weapon in the football stadium in Baltimore. Though his story didn’t happen on inauguration day, it was definitely brought on by a rogue player who wanted the two major nuclear powers upping the anti.
In this political atmosphere I find it to be extremely plausible. Would it happen? Well, as you read this, look at the date – tomorrow is 9/11 – then think again.
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