The Aeschylus by David Barclay
Two hundred and fifty oil workers mysteriously vanish from the offshore Aeschylus drilling platform without a trace. Production stops. Communications cease. The Valley Oil Corporation finds itself on the brink of disaster and prepares to send an investigative team deep into the south Atlantic.
Kate McCreedy, daughter of the late U.S. Vice President, is whisked into a secret board meeting shortly after inheriting a windfall of Valley Oil stock. Her father not only left her his fortune, however, but an envelope containing covert satellite images of The Aeschylus. Believing the images are linked to the developing crisis, she volunteers to join the team.
Upon arrival, they discover the platform is overgrown with a massive, tentacle-like fungus, and the missing workers are nowhere to be found. Kate delves deeper into the mystery, discovering a nearby island, an abandoned military base, and a secret dating back some eighty years. It’s not long before she must make a choice: assist in a corporate cover-up, or destroy her family legacy with the truth.
David Barclay lives in the greater San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Kristen Merry Ravenell. His short fiction has appeared in Infernal Ink, Acidic Fiction, and in audio format on The Manor House podcast. The Aeschylus is his first novel.
Kate McCreddy’s father, the vice principal of the USA, has recently died. Besides being the vice-president, he was also a board member of Valley Oil, the same company she works for. With his passing, he has willed his stocks to Kate. But something has happened to the Aeschylus platform. Two hundred and fifty men have disappeared, the platform has been destroyed, and a strange black growth is all over. Kate flies in with a former security manager and a Black Shadow group to figure out what happened.
At the same time we follow along with two scientists and ones two daughters as they are captured by Nazi’s. There is an island with a strange black growth that they want them to figure out how to control it. But there has to be more to the demand than just the black growth. With the top scientists in several fields at the island, it is clear that the Nazi’s have something bigger planned.
This is an interesting story told from two time frames. Clearly something in 1938 that the Nazi’s did relates to the present day damage to the Aeschylus oil platform. Katie might come from an influential family but she is determined to make her own way in the world. When she learns of her inheritance in Village Oil and decides that she should go on the scouting mission to figure out the big picture.
There is more to the story of the Aeschylus when they find a survivor and learn that the damage did not take 24 hours but much longer. There are also several other groups involved and it becomes clear that someone wants to cover up the whole incident.
Then there is the story with the Nazi’s. Something is clearly happening and they want to use it as a weapon. This story progresses along with the Aeschylus and seem to be linked. Reading this was almost like watching a horror movie. You know that something bad was going to happen but you were curious at the progression of the story.
Over all this is not a bad story. It seemed to take it’s time to build up steam. Because of that I admit that I had a hard time sticking with the story. But once everything got rolling then it was easier to keep reading the book. It was well worth sticking with it just for the conclusion. I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for other books from David Barclay.
I received The Aeschylus from Candid Book Reviews for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.