Review: “The Green Trap” by Ben Bova

Paul Cochrane’s life is turned upside down when his brother Mike is murdered. Mike invites Paul to his laboratory at the Calvin Research Center, a private biotech company in Palo Alto, California to tell him of a scientific breakthrough which will transform the world and make him a wealthy man. However, before Paul sees him, Mike is found bludgeoned to death, his laptop computer gone. Paul is left with many unanswered questions. Who killed his brother? Why was Mike killed? And what had he discovered? Paul Cochrane begins a labyrinthine journey to find answers. His life will never be the same.

“The Green Trap” by Ben Bova is a first-rate thriller constructed around cutting-edge microbiology and the power politics of alternative energy research. It pits those who profit from traditional fossil-fuels against scientists who are ushering in a paradigm shift in energy production. The story is a classic David and Goliath tale where a man, seeking the truth about his brother’s death, must challenge overwhelming adversaries.

When Elena Sandoval, a lovely and mysterious woman, joins in Paul in his search for Mike’s murderer, the pair finds themselves locked in a deadly tug of war with Lionel Gould, the chairman of the board and principal stock holder of Gould Energy Corporation. Gould wants control of Mike’s discovery. Paul wants to protect the research for which his brother died. Paul and Elena are immersed in a shadowy world where they are stalked by thugs and confounded at every step. Their search takes them from Boston to San Francisco, from the halls of Washington’s power to seductive bedrooms of sexual intrigue.

Once again, Ben Bova delivers a literary masterwork, taking his readers on a thrilling roller-coaster ride through smart science and rough and tumble action. He never disappoints. Paul Cochrane is a likeable and approachable character. When his brother’s discovery threatens those who are heavily vested in the status quo, Paul Cochrane shows us that the heralds of innovation can change the world in spite of them. “The Green Trap” offers an honest look at the political and economic strictures which stifle discovery, wrapped in an enjoyable who-done-it.

Moore later…

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