|Black Flag by David Ricciardi
shows how this author can predict the future. It has riveting
scenes of a biological weapon about to be unleashed. Sound familiar?
The other aspect brings back piracy to the high scenes.
The author noted a book quote, "Bioweapons are engineered
to be highly contagious and resistant to treatment. If enough
people are infected before they become symptomatic, it could
kill half of Mogadishu inside a few months-call it a million
people." I had it come from Iran because I demonized China
in the last book. I thought how it is almost impossible to prepare
for and is very difficult to thwart."
culprit in this book is not China, but Iran, there are still
fascinating details that can be compared to today’s
pandemic. After a pirate team captures a ship’s container
that is being cooled from the inside, the hero, Jake Keller,
becomes suspicious. A quote hammers the point home, “Chemical
weapons don’t need to be refrigerated, high explosives
won’t ignite until around four hundred degrees Fahrenheit,
and nuclear weapons can survive the heat of re-entry through
the atmosphere…The only thing that makes sense is a
After years of calm, the Pirates are back, unfortunately,
better and more powerful than ever. Instead of the small motorboats,
this new breed of pirate has increased in number, becoming
more technologically savvy, well-armed, and seemed prepared
for any situation. Jake is assigned to investigate what the
pirates are taking, how they've become so effective, and what
happened to the crew and ship. He plans to lure the pirate
masterminds into the open by infiltrating their organization.
The mission becomes complicated by a secret agenda originating
from his boss, Ted Graves, at CIA headquarters. Is Graves
self-serving or willing to do anything to complete the assignment?
"I did a what-if, knowing that piracy kind of went
away for two reasons. First, ships took responsibility for
their own security by putting armed guards, moving faster,
and changing up their routes. The second reason is that the
world's Navy makes it a priority to patrol the seas. The pirates
never evolved, so it all but died out. I changed that and
had them well funded by warlords. They hired a bunch of Special
Forces operators who attacked by coming in fast, jammed communication
and taking the ships off the grid. These warlords were corrupt,
stole the cargo, and killed the crew. Pirates used to fly
the flag of skulls and crossbones. In the book, there is a
paragraph that tells the difference between a black and a
red flag. The black flag is a warning signal, giving ships
a chance to surrender. If they don't, then they put up a red
flag, the bloody flag, that means they are attacking."
The novel has surprising twists, a changing battlefield,
and non-stop action. Ricciardi has hit a home run with this
story showing that his insight is very spot on.