Code Crisis

Joe Purpura

Gynecologist, Dr. Vince DeLuca, works at Santa Barbara Community Hospital. His life consists of saving lives then heading home to a glass or two of red wine, sleep, and repeat… Until one day, an ectopic emergency rattles his familiar jaded repertoire. A patient near death makes a pre-operative confession of infidelity, and after surviving her surgery, utters bizarre ramblings in her post-anesthetic delirium. Her husband is an arms dealer, and her mentions of “stingers” and “grails” sends chills down Vince’s spine when he recognizes the names from the evening news. Shadows of the past prompt him to call the FBI and team up with Agent Carolyn Talbot. Tall, blonde, and businesslike, Agent Talbot lights a flame under Vince that has been absent since he lost his fiancée on 9/11. Together they must solve the puzzle of where missing mass casualty weapons will turn up next, and who will be their targets.

“Code Crisis” is an elevated debut thriller that is equal parts adrenaline and intellect. Vince DeLuca’s pressured inner voice sets the tone for this page-turner, but even during his downtime, the doctor’s mind never stops. He is relentless in his analysis of terrorist possibilities, which makes him a perfect partner to the gifted Agent Talbot. When he first steps into her world, Vince is in awe of Carolyn, not only for her professional assets but for her beauty and poise. He quickly finds his footing, and with no time to lose, skillfully steers her tactical team towards the necessary clues to avert total disaster. There is room to further delve into character volatility and leaps of intuition that can leave readers stunned, but the climax is bold and provoking!

Joan Lai