The greatest scientific invention of modern times…
Capable of curing humanity…
But more adept at controlling it…
Sydney scientist, Marcus Hall, is developing a radical 5G Wi-Fi receiver for CSIRO. With access to secretive Lamarr computer chips – this technology promises billions to repair Australia’s ravaged economy. On a caffeine boosted whim, he inadvertently discovers a therapeutic breakthrough in neuroscience. Or so he thinks…
His seemingly trustworthy lab partner, Henry, is an unlikely Australian spy. His official duty is keeping tabs on the project and their Lamarr chips. But the whole project is now classified top-secret.
Marcus remains blissfully unaware of the many secrets surrounding him, until he witnesses the graphic murder of a colleague. Could this event reveal Henry as a master deceiver and ruthless double agent? Will the scientific discovery be fatal for Marcus, those he loves, and the one he yearns for? Marcus faces a soul tearing dilemma: is the only means of stopping the carnage to weaponise his prototype?
Foreign intelligence agencies realise the top-secret breakthrough is priceless. One particular spy leads the race to seize the invention. A psychological master of the long game, espionage, and extortion, his only rule according to Kung Fu: Win.
Friend and foe alike confront this psychotic mastermind. All will FEAR him, but is their FEAR real? Only the next six minutes will tell…
Published in paperback and digital formats on 18 th November 2020
I was given a Kindle copy of this book by Emma Welton of Damppebbles.com, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author and to Emma!
The first half of Yearn to Fear is very much concerned with introducing the characters, explaining the technology and setting the scene for the main action of the story.
A microchip known as the Lamarr chip was invented several years ago by DST (Defence Science and Technology), ostensibly invented with a view to improving 5G communication. The chip is found to also emit a transmission which causes the recipient to fall asleep quickly and experience vivid dreams of yearning.
Marcus Hall, one of the main protagonists and member of the lab team investigating the Lamarr chip, brings the invention home to test on himself and then lets his brother, Bill and sister-in-law, Helen use it, as well as her sister, Maddy, who Marcus is in love with. They all have vivid sexual dreams about their loved ones and on looking at PET scan results the brain’s “love” centre is seen to be fully functioning during these dreams.
I have to admit during the first few chapters of this book I found myself getting lost in some of the technical jargon. There were quite a few detailed technical explanations which I found distracting.
Marcus’s Project Manager, Sarah, is being blackmailed by her boss Peter Esser and forced to pay him each month for two years during the duration of the Lamarr project, in return for which she will also get a payout. Initially she was so eager to work there that she agreed to his terms, but is now having second thoughts. However it transpires that Peter is a paranoid narcissist who has been entrenched in industrial espionage for a foreign organization for years. He was originally contacted via his kung fu teacher, Sifu and believes himself to be working for the Chinese as a spy.
Henry Henderson is also a spy, working for the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. He is working undercover with Marcus and Sarah as a lab assistant, but also providing covert security. We learned some of Henry’s back story in the prologue, so the fact that he is a spy does not come as a complete surprise. Sarah and her team members are all likeable characters and get along with one another very well.
Marcus and Henry test whether the device they have christened the ‘Marc1’ can cause fear in people in the same way it causes heightened love and yearning. If this is the case it makes the device a potential weapon and they realise they will need to be a lot more careful in terms of security for both the device and their personal safety and that of their loved ones.
Halfway through the narrative the pace of the action picks up dramatically and becomes more af an exciting page-turner, as Sarah becomes the victim of a home invasion kicked off by Peter. Two men, Shane and an unnamed younger man, have come for her prototype of the invention, the ‘Sara1’. Meanwhile Henry is also on the way to her house to recover the device per order of his handler. Marcus is also planning to drop by and check on her as they have been worrying about her despondent attitude, apparently caused by interactions with her boss, Peter. Marcus gets there before Henry and sees Sarah tied to a chair through her curtains. Unfortunately one of her captors sees the light from Marcus’s phone display as he calls for help and the younger of the two assailants chases after Marcus. This turn of affairs is seen by Henry, who has just arrived. There follows an exciting, fast-paced action sequence. Marcus thinks Henry has shot at him and drops to knees in shock but Henry was actually aiming at the assailant to save Marcus. Poor Marcus is totally confused by what is going on by this point. The two bad guys make a run for it, setting Sarah’s house on fire as they go.
Like Marcus I found myself reeling from the shock of the unexpected death of a likeable and believable character, who I felt I was just getting to know.
The thrilling action of this episode is just the beginning of a story full of fast-paced drama and more than a few unexpected twists.
Marcus and Henry are taken to a hotel room with armed guards for Marcus’s protection. Maddy and Helen have been kidnapped by Shane, on behalf of the despicable Peter. Here a very technically detailed plan is hatched to locate the house at which the victims are being held.
I will not give away any more of the plot and you will need to read the book in order to find out if the plan works out! The author has quite a few surprises in store in the conclusion of the story and promises another thrilling story in the yet to be released follow up ‘Fear to Recall’.
About the Author
Chas Murrell has been a Police Officer, Senior Fire Commander, Customs Coastwatch surveillance mission co-ordinator, heavy machinery mechanic, emergency medical technician/ instructor, film extra, and General Manager of an event company. He has published academic papers on liquid hydrogen and held a worldwide provisional patent for a nonlinear mathematical calculation. He survived Australia’s largest gas BLEVE in 1987, and has provided operational support to some of Australia’s largest natural disasters in North Queensland.
On a personal level he has suffered from relentless and debilitating migraines all his life, is father to four and pop to two. He and his artistically entrepreneurial wife live in Tasmania, which looks very much like Scotland and they wouldn’t have it any other way. A direct descendant of Robert the Bruce (King of Scots), history runs deep in Chas’s veins, along with a profound knowledge of both World Wars. You may even come across him online playing World of Tanks.
In his Australian spy thriller books you will get to know Chas’s knowledge of technology, intrigue, crime, espionage, weaponry, banter, romance and even whisky… yet above all, there is believability and no loose ends.
Contact Chas here: