Voyager One is the remotest human object in existence, hurtling through the void of outer space more than twelve billion miles away.
It should be all alone.
Callie Woolf, Project Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is stunned when the tiny probe unexpectedly downloads a series of highly disturbing images. Within 24 hours she is running for her life.
FBI Agent Brad Barnes is assigned to the case and unwittingly stumbles into a conspiracy which threatens to bring the United States to its knees. Unable to tell friend from foe, Brad and Callie must play a deadly cat-and-mouse game with the conspirators’ shadowy agents as they confront the unthinkable – that mankind may not be alone in the Universe.
Voyager is an intelligent, modern-day conspiracy thriller by Carl Rackman, author of Irex.
I read it on the Kindle
Voyager begins as a science fiction thriller with believable characters set in recent, real world situations. These scenarios may be unfamiliar to the majority of readers, but due to the author’s careful descriptions and explanations it is not difficult to visualize the locations and imagine the relationships being depicted.
The NASA Voyager team receives images from deep space which could be considered evidence of extra terrestrial life – if they are real. The Voyager team and its project manager, Callie Woolf, quickly decide that the photos must be a hoax, sent from Earth and bounced back from Voyager. Soon after the photos are downloaded, Callie finds herself in mortal danger and has to go on the run to preserve her life.
At this point the intriguing prospect of possible alien life is lost for a while as the characters are developed and the story becomes more of a gripping spy thriller.
A copy of the photos taken from the lab by Callie is sent to England and then secretly returned to the US by way of pilot/secret agent Matt Ramprakash. Matt ends up in the custody of FBI agents Bradley Barnes and Diane Breecker. Following a thrilling rescue he finds himself in the same safe house where Callie Woolf has been placed and immediately the two appear to fall in love. This incongruous love story did not ring true for me and felt like an unnecessary addition to the main story.
Bradley Barnes is the other main character. A brave and likeable FBI agent who at first appears emotionally stunted by past tragedy and yet distracted by the beauty of the superhuman agent Diane Breecker. Callie has been analyzing Voyager’s photos and Brad is assigned to discover their origins. Could there actually be aliens en route to Earth or is it all a conspiracy?
The plot is developed carefully and at an exciting pace that still makes it easy to follow everything that is happening. I would have liked more emphasis on the investigation into the possibility of extraterrestrial life rather than the character relationships. Having said that, the story is gripping, with plenty of exciting chases, fights and an attempt on the life of the President of the USA thrown in. It was very well written and I eagerly await the sequel.
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About the author
Hi! I’m Carl Rackman, a British former airline pilot turned author. I spent my working life travelling the world and this has given me a keen interest in other people and cultures. I’ve drawn on my many experiences for my writing.
I write suspense thrillers with a grounded science-fiction theme. I like reading novels that feature atmospheric locales and I enjoy complex, absorbing storylines combined with rich, believable characters, so that’s the sort of fiction I write. I try to create immersive worlds for the reader to explore, and characters who are more than just vehicles for the story.
I come from a naval military background and have held a lifelong interest in military history and seafaring – all my books usually contain some of these elements!
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