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SILENT SOURCE by James Marshall Smith

Silent Source is James Marshall Smith’s debut thriller. The critically-acclaimed novel was an international finalist for the 2015 Clive Cussler Grand Master award for action adventure writing and has received 5-star editorial reviews, including the Manhattan Book Review: “… monumentally conceived and masterfully sculpted … Smith is the master of suspense.”

Forensic genius Dr. Damon Keane probes the bewildering cases of a fatal syndrome emerging in Atlanta. The story races from there to London to the edge of Siberia—a place once home to the world’s most infamous atomic city, now Mecca for the international nuclear black market. While the killer plans his next step—unleashing a cloud of death across Atlanta—Keane prepares to halt the terror by outmatching the killer’s cunning in a face-to-face showdown. It’s a July 4th weekend at the world’s busiest airport . . .

Why did you title your debut novel 'Silent Source'?W
The term ‘silent source’ is familiar jargon in the field of radiation protection and nuclear terrorism. It represents a scenario whereby a hidden radioactive source of radiation exposes people to dangerous levels of nuclear radiation.

How thorough did you research the forensic parts of this Thriller?
In brief, a heck of a lot. I explored some little known cases of forensic investigations from history that presented exceptional challenges.

What are the key elements in your story that make it super-exciting for your readers?
Introducing a source of nuclear radiation into the story gave me two great opportunities. First, to demonstrate how these strange radioactive sources and mysterious rays can do harm in unexpected ways. But at the same time, the invisible dance of radiation provides surreptitious clues to their presence that require the most sophisticated of observations that would leave even Sherlock Holmes puzzled.

What characters were the most challenging for you?
I would say the hero who had to carry the story and the villain, whose job it was to win the day by destroying it. The villain had to present obstacle after obstacle in the path of Dr. Damon Keane, the novel’s hero and primary character.

Having said that, we won't keep reading stories if we aren’t interested in the hero; we want to know him inside-out. We want to relate to every move he makes, how he feels; identify with his goals, empathize with his every problem.

As a Thriller writer, what is the most unsettling scene you have ever read or seen?
Too many to count, really—especially when you include books and movies. The goal of a thriller writer is to keep you unsettled and on-guard, riveted to the screen or turning the pages without stopping, constantly anticipating something worse than before, and pushing you into madly rushing for the climax to find out how the heck is this going to end.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Writing is not a social activity. Sit down, focus singularly on the story, and write; preferably every day.

SILENT SOURCE by James Marshall Smith Reviewed by JaamZIN on 6:51:00 AM Rating: 5
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