The Manhatten Project by Paul Mc Neive
New York City is under attack. Millions may die. But the enemy’s weapons are invisible, undetectable and creating terror at lightning speed. Now, there’s nothing to stand in their way …
- A Hiroshima survivor turned criminal mastermind
- Pharma industry fat cats corrupted by big money
- A Libyan fast food entrepreneur coerced by threats to his family
- A New York cop falling fast for an elusive beauty
- Visitors to Tokyo from the desolate villages of southern Afghanistan
One terrible desire connects them all – one man’s burning need to finally avenge those who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With a brilliantly audacious and devastating plot to bring America to its knees, can anyone save New York from disaster?
Taut, scintillating and breathtaking in its scope, The Manhattan Project is a must-read for fans of explosive international thrillers.
HIROSHIMA – SATURDAY 6 AUGUST 1945
The world was going to change today – and he was going to
change it. Tom Ferebee, the bomb aimer on the Enola Gay, was drenched in sweat. His shirt stuck to his back as he tried to concentrate.
‘Shit,’ he said under his breath, as a drop of perspiration ran off his forehead and clouded up his bombsight. Every bombing run was a nerve-jangling experience, but right now, twenty-six thousand feet over Hiroshima Bay, he was feeling the pressure. Nearly there now. He had been chosen for this mission as a member of one of the most experienced bombing crews in the US Air Force. This bomb would be dropped from twice their normal bombing altitude, for their own safety. They were on a northwesterly course from their base on Tinian Island. About sixty seconds to go, he thought.
‘Yeah, there’s the river, where it splits into seven channels. Definitely Hiroshima,’ he heard the navigator reassure the pilot through his headphones. He watched the grey grid of buildings and streets unfolding slowly below him and noticed ant-like movement on the ground. Tom could normally detach himself from thinking about the consequences of the bombs he dropped, but
on this occasion, he couldn’t help wondering who those people were. What are they thinking, right now, in the last few moments of their lives? For now, just thirty seconds or a mile or so from his target, he knew that those people had no chance.
The knot in his stomach tightened. He blinked away another drop of sweat as the four massive engines around him droned closer to history. With five seconds to go, some miles away to the left, he noticed three white lights flashing brightly skywards from the ground. Flash, flash, flash. Unusual, he thought. One second later, the crosshairs on his bombsight were centred over the target coordinates and he gave the order firmly and clearly –
Twenty-five feet behind him, Deak Parsons, hunched over the bomb bay, pulled the lever in his right hand. ‘Bomb away.’
The giant B-29 Superfortress bomber, suddenly freed of the weight of her deadly cargo, bucked upwards as Paul Tibbets, the pilot, backed away from the drop zone. The first atomic bomb to be used against civilians, nicknamed ‘The Little Boy’ by the crew, dropped two hundred feet or so, lazily turned its nose downwards and headed towards a city of four hundred thousand people. Aboard the Enola Gay, the twelve crew members watched the city below them through their windows, intense silence. Tom Ferebee swept a pale blue shirtsleeve across his brow. He had a mixed-up feeling, not knowing whether he had just finished something or just started something. For some reason, a picture of his wife and baby son flashed through his mind.
Thirty-one thousand feet below the Enola Gay, and now perhaps five miles away, Saina Yohoto was also sweating as she ran behind her three children, pushing them, in turn, higher and higher on the three park swings. ‘Higher! Higher!’ the children shouted and squealed with delight. The morning sun reflected off the three
metal swings and flashed upwards towards Tom Ferebee in the Enola Gay. Suddenly, disaster, as the youngest child, Tsan, five years old, slipped under his seat restraint and shot forward, falling heavily on to the concrete in front of his swing. His mother darted around the swing, instinctively using her right arm to fend off the empty swing seat, which was now coming forward again. Her little boy Tsan was face down on the ground and had begun to scream – a child’s scream of pain and shock. As she bent down to hug her son, Saina Yohoto was illuminated by a dazzling white light and her long black hair was lifted by a warm wind, which quickly became too hot. She ducked and shielded her young son as a fireball swept over the park wall. Two seconds later, the screams of the young mother had joined those of her youngest, who lay beneath her, face down on the ground.
Now seven miles away and at thirty-five thousand feet, those
on board the Enola Gay peered downwards in amazement. Tom Ferebee’s intuition was right: they had just triggered a disaster, which would have deadly repercussions, seven thousand miles away. Decades later. Everything had changed.
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