Another twelve month journey in and out of literary madness. About this time last year I started my third novel. The last one took a little less than a year. I guess it was huberous to believe that this one would go faster.
This one took me down several wrong paths and dead ends. I changed the title as least three times. I hope I'm not overestimating again, but I think it's my best. I set out to write more of a psychological mystery and thriller, and I think it is. The hero in this one is Ericka Hunter. She's the chief claims negotiator in the Daneli company. She has a style of her own, and a real talent for getting people to reveal their hidden agendas.
Gas extraction from shale deposits has been the rage in the US ever since the cost of a barrel of oil stabilized at sixty dollars or more. That is approximately the level needed to make it profitable to invest in this more costly method. The gas and oil deposits have been know for decades. But like any new product or service, the rush to market can create oversights and mistakes. This was the case with what is now known as fracking. If you are careless the product, the waste water or the chemicals injected to mix with them can find cracks in your infrastructure, thereby leaking into places like the water table where drinking water wells are drilled.
This is the backdrop of the novel. Add a pipeline rupture to the mix and you have the need for our intrepid investigators to come in and help. But like the rest of my novels, the energy industry events are only the catalyst that brings the personality of the Daneli team together in the middle of a full blown mystery where people are dying and more continue to be at risk.
Our own expectations. appearances and biases can blind us from the obvious. We even refuse to believe the hard, inescapable facts when they lie in opposition of what you want the solution to be. There is a lot of that in this story. There is also a lot of overconfidence and arrogance. Both get you in trouble without you having any idea what's really happening. Another theme that plays out in this story is how we underestimate the abilities of our adversaries, mostly because they are trying to get us to underestimate them. That's how they beat us, leaving us aghast, wondering "What just happened".