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M. L. "Matt" Buchman

Havoc (+audio)

Havoc (+audio)

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When one of their own is threatened—the nation’s #1 air-crash investigation team enters a race to survive.
An airliner downed on a Pacific atoll. A CIA covert strike team sent in to “clean it up.” An old enemy seeks revenge. This time, the NTSB’s autistic air-crash investigator, Miranda Chase, and her team are in the crosshairs. The action races around the globe as US military airbases become shooting galleries and their lives are placed on the line.
And hidden from sight? A treacherous plan to grab political power and start a new war with Russia in the Middle East. Only Miranda’s team stands in their way, if they can survive.

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Seattle-to-Sydney Direct
600 miles southwest of Hawaii
39,000 feet
Seat 57A

Holly did not appreciate the irony of the moment.
Not even a little.
She’d been sitting one row from the very rear of the Airbus A330-900neo jet. If she didn’t hack off her legs to get away from the muscle spasms soon, it would be a Christmas miracle—too bad it was October.
Tall people were not meant to sit in economy on fourteen-hour nonstops. But National Transportation Safety Board investigators also knew better than to sit in the front of airplanes.
Statistically, the rear rows of modern jetliners were marginally enough safer that she couldn’t quite bring herself to sit forward, no matter how safe airplane travel in general had become. Far and away the safest form of transport—except when it wasn’t.
And her job as a crash investigator was all about when it wasn’t.
The very tail of all wide-body jets had a motion that seemed disconnected from the rest of the aircraft, and, at the moment, the vibration was almost as annoying as her legs.
Only six hours into fourteen, for a flight she didn’t want to make. It was lucky for whoever wasn’t there that the seat beside her remained empty; it was best that her need to vent her frustrations to someone, anyone, had no ready target.
Hell, at the moment she’d even vent to Mike, though their parting at the airport hadn’t gone smoothly.
Are you sure you don’t want me to go with you? And Mike had even insisted on driving her to SeaTac for her flight. As if he somehow knew how hard this trip was going to be for her—despite her not telling anyone anything about why she was going. Of course it was Mike, so he’d known even without being told.
Which was almost as annoying as how comforting his presence had been on the drive.
But the last thing she wanted was her past touching any part of her present.
It was a completely rank horror-show that she herself had been given no choice.
Then at the curb he’d gotten all clingy, like he was going to miss more than having her in his bed most nights. Like he…owned?...some piece of her?
So not her.
She’d already been with him longer than anyone before in her life. Maybe it was time they were done—just to avoid his getting too attached. Soon, maybe he’d be wanting more than she was willing to give.
The period of the vibration shifted.
Rather than the slightly annoying slow sway of the airplane’s butt—like riding in a big old 1970s station wagon that desperately needed new shocks—it took up a distinct rhythm.
One that accelerated fast.
With a periodicity that, in all her experience, should never happen to any airplane.
She opened her left-side window shade to glare out. Her eyes ached as they adjusted from the dim you-should-be-sleeping-now interior to the glaring dawn over the Central Pacific.
There was the source just at the edge of her view—the Number One engine was shaking visibly.
Shaking hard.
It didn’t explode or shatter like an uncontained turbine failure. Those happened in milliseconds; things occurred fast when meter-wide titanium fans shattered at thirteen thousand rpm.
This engine was swaying side-to-side on its mount.
She’d never seen that before. Or read about one doing that. Or even heard of such an event. Holly barely had time to wonder if Miranda ever had.
Three seconds later it broke free of the left wing.
Shit! There was an event she could go a lifetime without witnessing herself.

Publication Details

Initial Publication: April 27, 2021
Print Pages: 374
Audio length: 8:58
Narrator: Read by Author

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