Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen
St. Martin’s, Jul 2009, $26.99
In Houston computer guru Rachel Kirby is obsessed with her research into finding a cure for the nervous system disorder Krabbe’s disease. Her efforts are personal as the horrifying degenerating and often fatal but rare disorder is devastating her sister, Allie.
To her shock, someone tries to assassinate Rachel; she was fortunate the sniper missed. Soon afterward she receives an odd email from a total stranger. John Tavak insists he is trapped inside an ancient Egyptian tomb with physician Peseshet, who was a physician to the great pharaohs. He signs off saying he believes Peseshet has a cure for Krabbe’s disease. Though Rachel assumes this is a cruel hoax, she is desperate so she and her sibling travel to where Tavak claims to be entombed while obtaining unexpected assistance from arrogant billionaire Hal Demanski.
When the story line focuses on the two siblings racing to and in Egypt while assassins give chase, STORM CYCLE is an exhilarating thriller. When the plot takes a double romantic spin, it feels contrived and forced as if this is expected of at least the mother part of the Johansen writing team (sort of like Hitchcock cameo appearances). Still the tale is action-packed from the moment someone tries to shoot Rachel and never slows down as she and Allie courageously seek the cure that Tavak swears is available. The second Johansen mom-son collaboration (see SILENT THUNDER) is a fun adventure tale.