By Don Helin
Ralph Pezzullo and Don Mann’s thriller, HUNT THE SCORPION, opens when the cargo ship, MSC Contessa, is captured by pirates off the east coast of Africa and SEAL Team Six is called into action. What looks like a simple search and rescue turns into something much more dangerous—the ship’s cargo is yellowcake, an important component in nuclear weaponry that could be deadly if it falls into the wrong hands.
The team is sent to Libya, where a supposed wealth of nuclear material is likely to attract terrorist attention. They find a war-torn country still reeling from its recent revolution, a virtually lawless collection of sects and tribes at war, and a desperate government trying to keep the peace. There are hardly enough bullets in the team’s clips to fight their way through the madness of Tripoli, but their objective is clear: secure the nuclear materials before the terrorists can unleash nuclear hell on the free world. To make matters worse, Thomas Crocker’s wife Holly—also on government assignment to Libya—disappears from her lodging under suspicious circumstances. For Crocker it’s a brutal choice–complete the mission or save the one he loves.
What follows is a lightning fast ride through prison camps, bombed out hotels, nuclear power plants, and a pulse-pounding ride on a Boeing 727. HUNT THE SCORPION is the bold new chapter in the SEAL Team Six adventures that will leave readers breathless, charged, and ready for the next operation.
I had the chance to catch up with Ralph Pezzullo and ask him a few questions.
Is there anything special you’d like to tell us about HUNT THE SCORPION?
First of all, HUNT THE SCORPION, is based on real events and ripped from the headlines. Most of the action takes place in Libya months after the fall of Qaddafi when a group of SEAL Team 6 are sent undercover to inspect former chemical weapons sites. What they find is relative anarchy with militia gangs vying for control of the country, and outside groups like al-Qaeda Magreb and countries like Iran looking for opportunities to make political inroads and scavenge whatever they can find. The book also reflects the role that is being played by Seal Team 6 as the paramilitary wing and anti-terrorism unit of the White House and CIA.
Did any particular event inspire the plot?
The plot is inspired by real events that have taken place in Libya and involve SEAL Team 6 and agents of the Iranian government. They haven’t been widely reported, but they happened. The chemical and nuclear sites in Libya are real. They were compromised during and after the war to topple the dictator, and the U.S. did take action to stop enemy groups from getting their hands on these materials. It’s also true that the U.S. and Iran have been waging a quiet war. Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons and the U.S. is doing everything it can to thwart that effort.
What are you doing to promote your book?
My co-author, Don Mann, who is a former member of SEAL Team 6, assault leader and trainer, will do most of the publicity. He’ll appear on TV and radio. Little Brown is also taking out ads in some publications. I’ll be doing signings and radio and print interviews.
HUNT THE SCORPION is the second book in a series. The first, HUNT THE WOLF, came out last year. I’ve just completed a draft of the third, HUNT THE FALCON, which is scheduled for publication in Fall 2013. Soon I’ll start working on HUNT THE JACKAL.
When you’re not writing, what are you doing (hobbies, family, etc.)?
I’ve got four great children, who keep me on my toes and entertained.
I also play pretty decent tennis.
Ralph Pezzullo is a New York Times bestselling author, playwright and screenwriter. His books include JAWBREAKER (with CIA operative Gary Berntsen), INSIDE SEAL TEAM SIX (with former Seal Team six member Don Mann), HUNT THE WOLF, EVE MISSING, BLOOD OF MY BLOOD, and PLUNGING INTO HAITI (winner of the Douglas Dillion Award for Distinguished Writing on American Diplomacy).
To learn more about Ralph, please visit his website.