A Vision on Fire, by Gillian Anderson, Jeff Rovin
Renowned child psychologist Caitlin O'Hara is a single mom trying to juggle her job, her son, and a lackluster dating life. Her world is suddenly upturned when Maanik, the daughter of India's ambassador to the United Nations starts speaking in tongues and having violent visions. Maanik's parents are sure that her fits have something to do with the recent assassination attempt on her father--a shooting that has escalated nuclear tensions between India and Pakistan to dangerous levels--but when children start having similar outbursts around the world, Caitlin begins to think that there's a stranger force at work.
In Haiti, a student claws at her throat, drowning on dry land. In Iran, a boy suddenly and inexplicably bursts into flame. On the Pakistan border, a young man feels a burning in his chest and, against his will, opens fire on Indian troops. With Asia on the cusp of nuclear war, Caitlin must race across the globe and uncover the supernatural links between these seemingly unrelated cases in order to save her patient--and perhaps the world.
This is the first novel for television and movie actress Gillian Anderson. I admit I gave A Vision of Fire a shot because I am a huge fan of the actress's work. Yes, I'm a total X-Files nerd!
Jeff Rovin has co-authored with other science fiction alumni like William Shatner and Adam West, as well as writing several Tom Clancy novels.
This science-fiction thriller collaboration is well paced and full of surprises. The main character, Caitlin O'Hara is a strong, independent, single Mom, with a successful career as a renowned child psychologist. She is a giver at heart, in her introductory scene O'Hara is negotiating with the World Health Organization for a modular house that would accommodate twenty souls sweltering or freezing in decaying tents for months.
Establishing early on that O'Hara is aware of political bureaucracy and the inner circles of the United Nations, O'Hara is called by a translator friend to assist in a medical mystery surrounding the teen daughter of Ambassador Ganak Pawar. The Indian Ambassador is in the middle of tense negotiations between India and Pakistan and Pawar is proposing Kashmir be made into a protectorate state, the distraction of his daughter's illness is putting the negotiations at risk.
O'Hara immediately jumps in and the journey begins.
Told mainly from O'Hara's point of view the book is layered and focused, seamlessly tying together each thread, willingly pulling you into the mix. A good mix of science, psychology, adventure and even some romance keep the plot moving forward with no lulls. Very interesting from the very beginning, I found myself enthralled and unable to put the book down. Lots of subtle little clues, hints along the path helping us, as the readers, to jog along. I'll admit to also very easily seeing Gillian Anderson as Caitlin O'Hara, and the visual assisted in the tale this book offers.
Without giving anything away, as the plot rolls along we see where the path leads and you begin to wonder if the authors are going to go there. Guess what? They do, and the presentation is grounded, believable and full of imagination.
Overall, very well written, enjoyable and definitely a worthy read. Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin make a great team. This is book one in a three book series. It can stand alone with no problems, but I will admit to be very excited to read the next!
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