It’s late and foggy on a rural stretch of Virginia interstate as Clay Cantrell and his fiance Susan become involved in a situation many say can’t happen in the United States — a murderous attack by radical, zealot Muslims. This is the jarring and very convincing premise behind author Bruce Wetterau’s lightning-paced, intriguing novel Killer Fog.
Cantrell is caught up in a deadly scenario that has its roots in 1941 Nazi Germany — but stretches firmly into the twenty-first century as jihadist thugs first kill a former German scientist, then try multiple times to kill him. The question is, what’s the connection between the scientist named Benjamin Weiss and the wild-eyed radicals currently plotting the downfall of The Great Satan?
The author skillfully crafts this follow-up to his first novel, in which Cantrell and his business partner discovered a fortune in Confederate gold coins. Now, Cantrell must trace a trail of clues that begins with the dying words of Weiss: “Find Blake’s Hill.”
This turns out to be a person, not a place. Hill, a former FBI agent, is now suffering from Alzheimer’s and the information he might share about a long-ago wartime project of Weiss’ is locked up inside his improperly functioning mind.
At the rest home, Hill is remembering an incident back in the early 1940s when an unscrupulous lab assistant working for Weiss stole a notebook with the secret formula for making synthetic gasoline — a secret Hitler was desperate to get his hands on. Weiss was shot during the burglary, but survived and told Hill about it.
The fuzzy flashbacks continue for Hill and finally a tie-in to the present day emerges — a lead that Cantrell and Homeland Security can follow to unravel an intricate and explosive plot by Muslim radicals to infiltrate and overthrow the United States government from the inside out.
Throw in several hair-raising car chases and some grisly work done by gun and knife-toting jihadists, and the rest of the novel flies by in a flurry of subplots that are all satisfactorily tied up in the end.
The author interweaves some disturbing information in this book about the increased Muslim presence in the United States over the past decade, and the stated belief by some that they would like to see Shariah Law imposed here — a return to the rigid seventh century edicts and customs that are now considered by many to be barbaric.
But the adventure tale involving Clay Cantrell and a host of well-developed characters combine with practically non-stop action to keep the intricate story moving along nicely, so the underlying warning about Mideast influences on our doorstep don’t interfere with a good old-fashioned mystery and thriller.
I give five stars to Killer Fog and look forward to the next book in this series.