When an anomaly on the floor of the Caribbean causes a US nuclear sub to abort its mission, naval technical investigator John Clay is assigned to the case. He encounters a team of marine biologists, under the leadership of Alison Shaw, who, with the aid of a powerful computer are on the verge of a scientific breakthrough; they have developed the ability to conduct two-way communication with earth’s second most intelligent species, dolphins.
Events take a strange turn when the experimental sub they use to check the sea floor is lost, and during the efforts to locate it, they meet Palin, a strange individual who is apparently able to travel via some unknown portal, and who claims to be from another planet.
This encounter leads to the discovery of a secret on the ocean floor that could spell the end of humanity on two planets, and it’s left to John and Alison to prevent a cataclysm of epic proportions. Breakthrough by Michael C. Grumley is a futuristic novel that, though positing science that does not yet exist, reads as though it could have been ripped from today’s headlines. The futuristic technology, and alien contact, though thrilling, pale beside the story of bureaucratic bumbling and political maneuvering that is so similar to things that happen in our present day.
As a bonus, the author, after wrapping up the story neatly, sets the stage for the next in the series. This is a ‘can’t put it down’ read. I give Grumley five stars for this opening salvo in what appears to be a great series.