Dr. Dwarahanath Maheshwari (aka Derek), is a humble and a bit naïve university professor of theoretical physics in his native India. He’s managed to figure out how to cloak an object, but the funds for his research are scarce so a benefactor/defense contractor who sees the value of invisibility for the US military offers Derek the world if he’ll move to the US to continue his work.
Tom and Marty are empty nesters in rural Oregon. He used to be the business editor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper and made the jump to a regional weekly where he and his family have thrived. He was sergeant in Vietnam and save the life of a platoon buddy who now lives off the grid in a cabin near Tom; he owes Tom a debt and will spend the rest of his life paying off that debt.
Claudia Monet is a former super model and face of a cosmetics conglomerate. Her first husband about destroyed the company. It’s take 3 or so years to get the company back on its feet and it’s time to expand so she proposes they get into the cruise business by launching 2 small luxury ships that sail the Pacific coast of Mexico and the Alaskan route.
Marty and a group of other women have this little singing group that plays hospitals, nursing homes, churches, and other local gigs. They get the chance to be shipboard entertainment on this small cruise ship headed on its last Alaskan cruise before the winter sends the ship on a southern route.
Derek’s research is progressing well at RCI and it’s time to test his method out on something of some mass. His equipment is placed on RCI’s research ship and aimed at an empty hull out in the Pacific. The successful test warrants some champagne and the CEO, a bit too tipsy for being around such equipment, triggers Derek’s process that is inadvertently pointed at a small ship in the distance – the cruise ship that Marty is on and is owned by Claudia’s company.
It works and now not only is a cruise ship missing but so are the 200 or so passengers. The process hasn't been tested on humans yet, so no one knows what's happened. Unfortunately, various issues prevent Derek from making the attempt at reversing the process. For all intents and purposes, the ship is lost at sea, even though in reality, it's still there, just invisible. Tom, Marty’s husband, had a premonition that this cruise was snake-bit and sets out to determine what happened and published a series of articles that blast Claudia's company; who else he is going to blame?
Derek is threatened by the RCI suits to not get to sanctimonious by going public and goes on the run. He looks online for stories of the ship’s vanishing and reads the news reports by this writer at an Oregon weekly, makes contact, arranges a meeting, and convinces Tom that if they act quickly, they can reverse the process and remove the cloak that surrounds the ship and strike a death blow to RCI, which is trying to keep their role out of the papers.
This book was in West Coast Don’s Kindle archive that he has allowed me to access. The first third of the book was, to me, an annoying development of the great love, devotion, and beauty of the principle characters. I know we read to eavesdrop on a world where we will never live, but I really got tired of just how great everyone else’s world was so much better than ours. Had this gone on for longer, I doubt I could've finish the book. Once the ship disappeared and the riddle was set up to be solved, the story picked up, not to breakneck speed, but better than the book’s opening. I read that the author has a continuing series based on the Claudia Monet character as well as a short series of Christian books. If I were grading books, this would be a C minus. I plodded through this because it was short. Any longer and I doubt I could’ve made the commitment to finish it.
East Coast Don