The Bottom Line: The Spill is a must-read, high-stakes Eco-thriller with fascinating technology at its core. Abbott’s debut novel is a five-star winner.
As The Spill opens, it is the middle of the night at the oil terminal in Lagos, Nigeria. A Nigerian worker named Kuno and his supervisor are manipulated into triggering a catastrophic oil spill, unleashing thirty thousand barrels of oil per hour into the Lagos harbor. Two people die in a sudden burst of chaos and violence. Brutally battered and bloodied, Kuno slips away into the night, running for his life.
Meanwhile, a late-night phone call wakes Jesse Ford, Vice President of Production for Americo Oil Company. An attorney by trade, Ford is a renowned negotiator and the company’s unofficial troubleshooter. He soon learns about a genetically designed microbe called ‘Denz’ created by a French company called CIVO. This micro-organism can allegedly neutralize the environmental damage caused by the spilled oil by converting it into biodegradable waste. Ford is sent to Lagos to investigate the cause of the spill.
Was it an accident? If not, who is to blame?
In his debut novel, Keith Abbott introduces a multifaceted protagonist, Jesse Ford, who is half-Navajo Indian born and raised on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Abbott, leveraging his significant industry knowledge and compelling nature of storytelling, constructs a hero renowned for forging powerful partnerships and world-changing international agreements.
But if you think Ford’s leadership begins and ends in an office, think again. Ford blends his sharp intellect and curiosity with an insatiable desire to be where the action is. That’s especially evident when a “search and rescue mission” escalates into a “search, rescue, then destroy and kill” operation.
However, the most captivating character in Abbott’s novel isn’t Jesse Ford, his chief of security Chip Monk, or even Kuno. It’s the microbe Denz and CIVO, the organization that created it. The intense scenes in which scientists analyze Denz’s surprising transformation are nothing short of electric. Further, it seems that CIVO has close, very close, connections to the Middle East. But why would CIVO have a heavily guarded fortress north of Paris? And is the organization acting in the best interests of Americo Oil Company and America? Much like George Lucas’ mesmerizing Death Star, CIVO’s headquarters – and its reason for existence – takes center stage as the novel rushes headlong toward its breathtaking conclusion.