Former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) has teamed up with political thriller author David Hagberg to write an insightful and gripping novel, Gridlock. Not only is there a fascinating plot but it also has a warning of a possible terrorist threat that not many are considering.
The plot includes many good action scenes that involve a former Russian agent turned paid assassin, Iranian and Venezuelan intelligence agents, a small town sheriff, Nate Osborne, and his future fiancé, a brash journalist. After two Iranian agents hand over one million dollars to a Russian engineer they receive a thumb drive containing a deadly computer virus. They engage a hacker in Amsterdam to do the necessary job that could shut down all electrical power in the U.S.
The protagonist character, Nate Osborne, is a former special forces Marine, which helps to explain how a small town North Dakota sheriff is familiar with international espionage. Given the fact that with the last two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the enemy was not clear-cut, the authors used this scenario for their antagonist. Senator Dorgan told blackfive.net, “In those wars the enemy did not wear a uniform so it was not apparent who was the adversary. In this book there were many antagonists including rogue nations, countries like Russia and China, terrorist organizations, and all a possible threat. Because we in the U.S. need to preserve and produce more energy there should be more urgency about the need to protect our grids. We wanted to have our readers consider the devastating effect that could happen if a rogue nation or terrorist organization were able to shut down a substantial portion of this nation’s power grid.”
Also, very timely and relevant is their creation of a secret government facility, given what Snowden has said about the facility in Utah. In Gridlock the secret facility is known as the Donna Marie Power Plant that is working on experimental forms of energy. It produces clean and abundant energy so that the U.S. no longer needs to rely on foreign oil. The Senator noted, “In our first book we created a top secret government facility using Los Alamos as a model. Just as it was created for the nuclear experiments in New Mexico we decided in Gridlock to create a remote facility in the North Dakota Badlands. Since North Dakota is where I am from and what I know about I chose it as the setting.”
Although Gridlock is a fictional book that is meant to entertain it is also meant to inform and allow the readers to understand that this threat is very real and dangerous. It’s about cyber terrorism where the next war may be fought with digital weapons instead of guns.