Review

Ghost Dancer

by John Case



John Case has once again marshaled his investigative skills in
unearthing a long buried secret that, in the hands of an evil
genius, can destroy mankind. Early twentieth century inventor
Nikola Tesla, famous for the Tesla coil (familiar to every Physics
101 student), also developed a little known electromagnetic
technique that if improperly applied had the potential of becoming
the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. The US government hid the
formula from public access for generations.

Jack Wilson is a brilliant young mathematician of American Indian
heritage, recently released from prison. He hates America, not only
for the long history of discrimination against his people, but
because he is embittered when the government declares a patent idea
he developed as a student as critical to national defense. Although
he was paid for it under the rules of eminent domain, he is
convinced he was deprived of millions by the government action. He
is therefore easily recruited while in prison by an al-Qaeda
operative for an assignment well suited to his talents.

Mike Burke is a photo journalist whose adventurous life in
dangerous places is interrupted by a near-fatal helicopter crash in
the Liberian desert. He is rescued by a beautiful Irish doctor from
a Doctors Without Borders unit, whom he marries and is then
widowed. He retires to a less perilous existence in Dublin where he
goes to work for his father-in-law as an international
banker.

Meanwhile, before Wilson can embark on his mission to design the
weapon, he must help raise funds for the project, so he heads a
team to smuggle drugs, diamonds and guns under direction from the
operatives. Wilson enters the treacherous underworld of drug
smuggling in Lebanon, bestial treatment of diamond miners in
Sub-Saharan Africa, and bloody arms smuggling in the Congo. Things
go awry and he finds himself in the marbled halls of offshore
banking in Ireland, sending up a red flag to the authorities.

Here the book takes off as Wilson prepares to build and activate
Tesla's deadly device in the far reaches of Idaho. Mike Burke is in
hot pursuit as he tries to track down Wilson and stay out of the
way of a bungling federal agent, so mired in bureaucracy and
lethargy as to be a tragic parody of our Homeland Security
agency.

In each of Case's spellbinding thrillers, he has summoned forth a
lurking menace, unleashed through an evil modern-day mastermind to
wreak havoc on an unsuspecting populace. John Case, a pseudonym for
the husband and wife writing team of Jim and Carolyn Hougan, once
again capably turns science, political and historic fact into
creditable fiction. As in their five past novels ---- THE GENESIS
CODE, THE FIRST HORSEMAN, THE SYNDROME, THE EIGHTH DAY and THE
MURDER ARTIST --- the sins of the fathers are cataclysmically and
metaphorically visited upon their sons.

The characteristically digestible, fact-filled writing and
fast-paced, globe-trotting plot more than make up for a rather
implausible ending. Where John Updike's TERRORIST paints a
psychological portrait of today's disenchanted young men who turn
to mass murder, Case presents the same soulless mindset in an
action-packed thriller.

Reviewed by Roz Shea on January 22, 2011

Ghost Dancer
by John Case

  • Publication Date: August 15, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345464737
  • ISBN-13: 9780345464736