48 Hours by William R. Forstchen was another can’t put it down until finished book. Forstchen’s writing is compelling. He makes the reader think about the moral issues while weaving a fascinating tale. Furthermore, political nuances are incorporated throughout the novel.
The premise of 48 Hours is that the Earth is in line for an ELE (extinction level event) from a powerful solar flare. For those readers who have not tuned into the many Discovery Channel shows explaining CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) and other solar disturbances, Forstchen does an outstanding job weaving the science into his fictional story. He strikes a balance between education and entertainment.
48 Hours Settings
The author uses a dual setting in 48 Hours. The story opens up in Southwest Missouri. But an equally important thread takes place in Washington, D.C. with a second storyline. The two plots are stand alone, with a thin tie at the end.
The lead characters in Missouri are Darren and Darla Brooks. Both are in their second marriage with grown children. The blended family includes a sprinkling of grandchildren. They have ties to military. Darren served in the Mideast and Darla had recently sold a company supplying the military.
A previous CME from a few weeks ago is the current reality. A second hit is the basis of the plot. Darren is head of security for a cavernous underground site with sections either owned or leased by both governmental and private entities. This factor puts him at the center of the story.
Dr. Richard Carrington V is the central character of the 48 Hours storyline based in the United States capitol. His interest in solar flares came naturally as the descendant of the first Richard Carrington. Both the solar event of 1859 and Carrington V are namesakes.
Key to the novel is the various characters’ moral struggles brought on by the ELE. In a scenario where only one percent survive, who belongs in the continuity of mankind? Forstchen explores this concept, balancing altruistic efforts with the need to plan for future existence.
48 Hours contains individuals within the government and other positions of authority that “do the right thing.” But alas, they are more the exception than the rule. William R. Forstchen has once again written a fictional novel based in science that will give the reader pause. If there truly are a number of these underground facilities, how do we select in advance the survivors?