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The Big Thrill Recommends: COBALT by Chris Bauer

Recommendation By Daniel Charles Ross

Young billionaire-at-large Max Fend returns in the fresh Maximum Risk series under the Chris Bauer byline. Mr. Fend was introduced by originator Andrew Watts in his Glidepath debut, followed by The Oshkosh Connection and Air Race (co-authored with Mr. Bauer). Mr. Bauer takes the controls solo for COBALT, now largely aircraft-free.

The key to a fabulous fortune in modern mining isn’t finding gold—it’s finding Cobalt (CO 27 on the Periodic Table for the physicists out there). The mineral is the essential ingredient in almost every form of storage battery, principally rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, but also nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel-cadmium (NiCd). The biggest exporter of cobalt is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Chinese interests are down there trying to lock it all up. If the Chinese succeed, they will control the cobalt market to a large extent, and that isn’t good for anyone not Chinese, especially manufacturers of electric cars.

Mr. Fend’s company is best suited for recruitment to Team Cobalt by American interests. His Fend Aerospace is already in DRC building airports and regenerating infrastructure.

Then a hand-written journal buried in 1873 is found in an American bank’s time capsule, suggesting a potentially large cobalt deposit might be found in Pennsylvania, and other searches get started for “volcanogenic” cobalt, disgorged from below the Earth’s surface by lava flows in Hawaii. A gigantic cobalt meteorite might be in Greenland—and a huge battle ensues when a Russian submarine pays the research team an unexpected call. The race to control, or at least share, cobalt deposits goes into high gear.

Chris Bauer is the author of six previous books. COBALT is the first entry in a new series that kicks off with a definite bang. Political intrigue, economic chaos, gun battles, creative assassination attempts, and a lot more will keep you turning the pages of this terrific thriller.


COBALT by Chris Bauer

Daniel Charles Ross