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A Touch of Nerves

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Army investigator Captain Ben Hawkins discovers that several pounds of the powerful nerve toxin VX-212 can't be accounted for at the Army facility responsible for destroying chemical munitions. Soon an FBI team is searching for Mahmoud, who can't forget his father's fate in the Iraq-Iran war, and Saman, whose parents were on Iran Flight 655, shot down by the American cruis Army investigator Captain Ben Hawkins discovers that several pounds of the powerful nerve toxin VX-212 can't be accounted for at the Army facility responsible for destroying chemical munitions. Soon an FBI team is searching for Mahmoud, who can't forget his father's fate in the Iraq-Iran war, and Saman, whose parents were on Iran Flight 655, shot down by the American cruiser, the USS Vincennes. Their hatred of the country they blame for their losses leads them to the United States for revenge. Their scheme uses the same weapons the United States went to war to find--chemical weapons of mass destruction. The weapons didn't come from Iraq, though, but from the stockpiles of chemical weapons developed and stored in the United States. Colonel Kashani, a senior Iranian intelligence officer, stumbles upon the plan, and he understands the dangers of enraging the American dragon. His challenge is to stop a terrorist plot without being ensnared by the FBI investigators trying to locate him. The Army investigator has his own choices, including whether to risk his career and possible arrest in an attempt to stop the attack, even if it means working with a foreign agent. The action moves from Spain to Washington,D.C., Iran to Texas, and to small towns in Alabama and Virginia. The story is especially timely in view of recent events in Iran and Washington.


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Army investigator Captain Ben Hawkins discovers that several pounds of the powerful nerve toxin VX-212 can't be accounted for at the Army facility responsible for destroying chemical munitions. Soon an FBI team is searching for Mahmoud, who can't forget his father's fate in the Iraq-Iran war, and Saman, whose parents were on Iran Flight 655, shot down by the American cruis Army investigator Captain Ben Hawkins discovers that several pounds of the powerful nerve toxin VX-212 can't be accounted for at the Army facility responsible for destroying chemical munitions. Soon an FBI team is searching for Mahmoud, who can't forget his father's fate in the Iraq-Iran war, and Saman, whose parents were on Iran Flight 655, shot down by the American cruiser, the USS Vincennes. Their hatred of the country they blame for their losses leads them to the United States for revenge. Their scheme uses the same weapons the United States went to war to find--chemical weapons of mass destruction. The weapons didn't come from Iraq, though, but from the stockpiles of chemical weapons developed and stored in the United States. Colonel Kashani, a senior Iranian intelligence officer, stumbles upon the plan, and he understands the dangers of enraging the American dragon. His challenge is to stop a terrorist plot without being ensnared by the FBI investigators trying to locate him. The Army investigator has his own choices, including whether to risk his career and possible arrest in an attempt to stop the attack, even if it means working with a foreign agent. The action moves from Spain to Washington,D.C., Iran to Texas, and to small towns in Alabama and Virginia. The story is especially timely in view of recent events in Iran and Washington.

52 review for A Touch of Nerves

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    Great book! I am proud to say this was written by my brother, who has an excellent writing style and suspenseful story. His experience in the Army and extensive research led to an excellent first novel!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    First things first, it took me a little bit to get in to the book, but once it grabs you, it wont let go! Modern thriller with such attention to detail, its crazy. What though me off in the beginning, was the whole military thing, you see, I'm not in to military stories. But this is definitely not focus on military at all, its all about revenge. I loved the suspense, I was tense the whole time. First things first, it took me a little bit to get in to the book, but once it grabs you, it wont let go! Modern thriller with such attention to detail, its crazy. What though me off in the beginning, was the whole military thing, you see, I'm not in to military stories. But this is definitely not focus on military at all, its all about revenge. I loved the suspense, I was tense the whole time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. **I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads** While this story sounded interesting, I was a little bit worried that I would be in over my head as I never pay attention to current events. However, this story grabbed me right from the beginning, and I did not want to put it down. I like that there was some confusion as to who all were the bad guys and who were just either unfortunate and unwilling participants or helpful agents who...well, honestly, I do not even know how to word **I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads** While this story sounded interesting, I was a little bit worried that I would be in over my head as I never pay attention to current events. However, this story grabbed me right from the beginning, and I did not want to put it down. I like that there was some confusion as to who all were the bad guys and who were just either unfortunate and unwilling participants or helpful agents who...well, honestly, I do not even know how to word what Kashani was. To be honest, Kashani was my favorite character. At first I was not sure whether or not he was working with the bad guys, and then when it was made clear he was not working with them I was still unsure of whether or not he was pro-nuclear weapons. Either way, he was a likable character trying to help out Captain Hawkins and the rest of America to stop a terrorism plot. Whenever it said that he smiled, I would smile imagining him doing so. I absolutely loved when Captain Ben Hawkins (who is my second favorite character in this novel) spoke to Kashani/Julian in Farsi, his native language. It showed friendship, a sense of camaraderie, which Kashani deserved since he helped save the lives of thousands of Americans. I also liked how Sarah, Ben's fiance, was in the book. While she was a minor character, I felt that it was important that the book portrayed Ben's home life as well as his job in trying to protect his country. I feel that we often forget that they are real people with real lives as well; even watching most crime shows, I am surprised if/when a tidbit of their lives outside of their jobs is thrown in. This made Ben a real person in my eyes. If I had to pick out a fault, I would say that ideas were repeated a little too often; sometimes the sentences were almost exactly replicated. But often these were ideas running through Ben's head, and given the task he was focused on, this does not surprise me. The only other shortcoming that I can say is that the reader does not find out WHY/HOW Jennifer McNair became involved in the terrorism plot. I wish that we were informed whether she was in on it from the start or if she really had been kidnapped and then became sympathetic. However, some people would not view this as a shortcoming - I just hate loose ends at the end of a story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Grady

    `The American contract employees were lucky - they would be tried in the US. The Iraqis were less fortunate.' Connecticut clinical audiologist D. C. Hampton receive his MA and PhD in audiology from Colombia University and has addressed and written about healthcare issues for more than 25 years. Additionally he has done graduate work in history and has a keen ear for international relations. Both of his sons served in the U.S. military during the Iraq War, one on the aircraft carrier George Washin `The American contract employees were lucky - they would be tried in the US. The Iraqis were less fortunate.' Connecticut clinical audiologist D. C. Hampton receive his MA and PhD in audiology from Colombia University and has addressed and written about healthcare issues for more than 25 years. Additionally he has done graduate work in history and has a keen ear for international relations. Both of his sons served in the U.S. military during the Iraq War, one on the aircraft carrier George Washington and the other with the 10th Mountain Division so his information about the current military and political climate is keen. A TOUCH OF NERVES is a novel that explores America's role in the Middle East. From his sons' experiences and his own service in the US Army, Hampton plumbs the realities of now instead of writing a story such as that on the respected television series `Homeland'. As he states, `I wanted to write a story that was worth telling, realistic and suspenseful. I believe the book is entertaining, but it also sheds light on the complex relationship between Iran and the United States and explores the complex emotions and issues that drive some individuals to commit terrible acts.' From the author's won synopsis, `When Army Captain Ben Hawkins discovers chemical weapons missing from a military research facility, he begins an investigation into preventing a possible terrorist attack. The suspects? Two rogue Iranian agents who blame the deaths of their family members on the United States. What Hawkins doesn't expect is to find himself forced to decide whether to risk his career--and possible arrest--to stop the attack, even if it means working with a foreign agent.' The complex plot spreads the action to Europe, the Middle East and various American locations. The terrorists' plans are tightly wrought and hinge on a terrifying possibility - that chemical weapons marked for destruction in the U.S. could be stolen and turned against American citizens. Tense, and with a touch and test of nerves, Hampton is making a very impressive debut in the intrigue literature by creating a book scrupulously detailed in the areas most other authors avoid.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘I’d like you to swing by the Tupelo Chemical Research Center in Alabama. Follow up on an incident report and a phone call I got from the facility commander yesterday.’ And at the Tupelo Chemical Research Center, US Army Captain Ben Hawkins is fairly sure that he’s not just looking at a case of faulty record-keeping. It looks like several pounds of a toxic nerve gas VX 212 – slated for destruction – is missing, as is the Army officer tasked with destroying it. Who has the missing nerve gas, and w ‘I’d like you to swing by the Tupelo Chemical Research Center in Alabama. Follow up on an incident report and a phone call I got from the facility commander yesterday.’ And at the Tupelo Chemical Research Center, US Army Captain Ben Hawkins is fairly sure that he’s not just looking at a case of faulty record-keeping. It looks like several pounds of a toxic nerve gas VX 212 – slated for destruction – is missing, as is the Army officer tasked with destroying it. Who has the missing nerve gas, and what is the connection with a missing American student? The FBI is soon searching for two Iranians, each with their own reasons for wanting to harm the USA. ‘All they knew was that someone had entered the country using her passport.’ A number of US agencies become involved and Hawkins finds it very difficult to let the case go to the FBI, especially after he is contacted by a man, calling himself Julian, who seems to have quite a lot of useful information to share. Hawkins risks the possibility of a court martial as he continues to work with the mysterious Julian to identify where, how and by whom the nerve gas might be used. The novel moves at a rapid pace, the tension heightened by the fact that terrorist attacks using nerve gas are an entirely plausible fear, as is the possibility of alienated individuals becoming terrorists. The only aspect of the novel that didn’t ring entirely true for me was the amount of information that Ben Hawkins shared with his girlfriend, but it’s a minor quibble. There are a number of twists and turns in the hunt to locate and stop the terrorists, and once I picked up this novel I couldn’t put it down. ‘Think about it, Captain. If a terrible incident occurs, and, fairly or not, that incident could be blamed on a foreign nation, what would be the consequences to that nation?’ Note: I was offered, and accepted, a copy of this novel for review purposes. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  6. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    Suspenseful! Thrilling! Loved the plot! While reading this book I was disappointed with all the interruptions. I just wanted to be left alone so I could find out what would happen next. The really scary part about this book was that is could really happen. Captain Ben Hawkins is with Criminal Investigations Command (think “NCIS”, but the Army version). He receives notice that these seems to be a problem at a chemical research facility. The numbers just are not matching up regarding a nerve gas be Suspenseful! Thrilling! Loved the plot! While reading this book I was disappointed with all the interruptions. I just wanted to be left alone so I could find out what would happen next. The really scary part about this book was that is could really happen. Captain Ben Hawkins is with Criminal Investigations Command (think “NCIS”, but the Army version). He receives notice that these seems to be a problem at a chemical research facility. The numbers just are not matching up regarding a nerve gas being destroyed at the facility. So he is sent in to investigate and opens a MAJOR Pandora’s box. Four pounds of this nerve agent is unaccounted for. He has now stumbled upon the planning of a terrorist attack meant to disgrace and embarrass the US by having its own weapons turned on American citizens. Middle Eastern agents working out of a terrorist cell in Spain plot to kill thousands of Americans by releasing the agent in populated areas. The back-story of the terrorists was really interesting based upon an actual event. I enjoyed the politics of the story. All the alphabet soup agencies – FBI, NSA, CIA, etc. -- had to get involved and jockey for control. The technology used to evade detection and to find the terrorists was really interesting. They were searching for one person out of a crowd of commuters and tourists. The characters are realistic and well-developed. Hawkins is no longer in control of the investigation but, risking his career, he is determined to find out who is behind all this. The story will keep you guessing. I am still amazed that the author of this excellent book is a clinical audiologist. He is definitely taking a different path “in his spare time”. He has sons in the military so perhaps that is where he gets a lot of his information. I am definitely looking forward to reading more by him.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Army Captain Ben Hawkins is ordered to follow up on a report of possible missing material from the Tupelo Chemical Research Facility. He thinks it's going to be a simple matter but he's wrong. Some of the deadly chemicals that were part of a weapon system and were gradually being destroyed, have gone missing. He speaks to the commander of the facility and a report is written to higher up personnel in the FBI and other government agencies. Soon, officials verify the missing chemicals. As officials Army Captain Ben Hawkins is ordered to follow up on a report of possible missing material from the Tupelo Chemical Research Facility. He thinks it's going to be a simple matter but he's wrong. Some of the deadly chemicals that were part of a weapon system and were gradually being destroyed, have gone missing. He speaks to the commander of the facility and a report is written to higher up personnel in the FBI and other government agencies. Soon, officials verify the missing chemicals. As officials search for answers, one of the army handlers goes AWOL and Ben knows there is a bigger problem. We also learn of an Iranian named Mahmoud who has thought up a plot to give the United States a payback since the U.S. supplied Iraq with weapons in the war against Iran. Mahmoud's father was in the Revolutionary Guard and he suffered from the chemical weapons Iraq used in the war. Mahmoud has also recruited a young Iranian woman who wants revenge against the U.S. for shooting down an Iranian passenger plane that was flying toward a U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf in 1988. The woman's parents were passengers on the plane. The plot thickens and we see events in Iran where Colonel Kashani is made aware of the plot and considers the repercussions against his country if the plot succeeds. The action moves swiftly and the suspense mounts. It is a story that made my heart beat faster and faster. Ben is well described but for an officer involved in an intelligence operation, he reveals quite a bit of information to his girlfriend. There is also a surprise toward the conclusion that didn't seem logical based on the information about the character involved. D. C. Hampton knows about chemical warfare and tells a good story. I look forward to his next novel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michele(mluker) Luker

    Touch of Nerves is the best title for this story. In the suspenseful plot, it will test your nerves, and make you dwell on what situations and investigations that might have transpired in the past, present and future. Like I said, this story is suspenseful and truly planned out. When Captain Ben Hawkins travels to a military facility to investigate some discrepancies, little did he know how it would change into a possible terrorist attack and definitely change his life, and many other lives in t Touch of Nerves is the best title for this story. In the suspenseful plot, it will test your nerves, and make you dwell on what situations and investigations that might have transpired in the past, present and future. Like I said, this story is suspenseful and truly planned out. When Captain Ben Hawkins travels to a military facility to investigate some discrepancies, little did he know how it would change into a possible terrorist attack and definitely change his life, and many other lives in the story. Ben Hawkins goes in deeper than he should, however his informant delivers. The story is unique, starting out with different stories, which beautifully blends into the major plot. I found this very important for the entire story, because it guides you to the reasons the two Iranian terrorists believe their cause is important. Technology is a big part of how information is obtained, and I found that very interesting. WOW, it is amazing. Ben is a strong character. He isn't scared to go beyond the rules to save the country he serves. I do love how the author made this character more than an Army soldier, but also a human civilian by his dates with his fiance, and their conversations. To me, this made the character more like a real person. I really enjoyed this story. I was pleased for stepping outside my box, and reading something different for me. It has action that I love, and oh my, there is a twist at the end that I would have NEVER seen coming....well, I didn't see it coming. haha THANK YOU D C Hampton, and also to your two sons for your service.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hate2beLate

    ~First Reads winner~ If I had read this as a teenager, it would have been an excellent Science Fiction book. Now, it is a sad reality. This was written by an intelligent man, and it reads that way. Very concise, factual and error free. It's not my favorite type of book as it is a bit more military/political, however the author brought it to my level of understanding and I never felt confused or 'left out' of what was going on. My only complaint [if you can call it that] was there were some repeti ~First Reads winner~ If I had read this as a teenager, it would have been an excellent Science Fiction book. Now, it is a sad reality. This was written by an intelligent man, and it reads that way. Very concise, factual and error free. It's not my favorite type of book as it is a bit more military/political, however the author brought it to my level of understanding and I never felt confused or 'left out' of what was going on. My only complaint [if you can call it that] was there were some repetitive moments that were unecessary. This may have been for the benefit of those who don't follow the characters or story line well. But it wasn't enough to affect the overall story. It was a bit dry to begin with but picked up speed and moved to the exciting conclusion. The credibility of the story was a bit frightening, but as I stated before, a sad reality. Well done!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jo (Mixed Book Bag)

    This is both a thrilling and interesting book. The plot is something that might happen. The characters fit the story line. The writing is good. It is hard to put down. What caught my attention the most was everything the different government agencies used to track the missing chemical weapons and the people who stole them. This is a work of fiction but I had to wonder how much of that was fact. All in all an exciting read that may scare you about the kind of threats that are out there and what c This is both a thrilling and interesting book. The plot is something that might happen. The characters fit the story line. The writing is good. It is hard to put down. What caught my attention the most was everything the different government agencies used to track the missing chemical weapons and the people who stole them. This is a work of fiction but I had to wonder how much of that was fact. All in all an exciting read that may scare you about the kind of threats that are out there and what could kill a lot of people.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Dale

    For what appears to be a self-published book, I think it is a credible effort. The plot however is written as if there is a screenplay in the works! Not a bad plot, really, but sometimes much of it is re-told unnecesarily to try to keep things going.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Izabella Hamar

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diane Charron

  14. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jake Levine

  16. 5 out of 5

    Roy Wano

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Frahn

  18. 5 out of 5

    Deb

  19. 4 out of 5

    Virginia

  20. 5 out of 5

    Esther Marie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Neeraj

  22. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Brower

  23. 5 out of 5

    Parvin

  24. 4 out of 5

    D.C. Hampton

  25. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cherlynn Womack

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Gates

  30. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  31. 4 out of 5

    Mike Rogers

  32. 5 out of 5

    Dad

  33. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Stone

  34. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Philpot

  35. 5 out of 5

    Julie Hutchinson

  36. 4 out of 5

    Max

  37. 4 out of 5

    Deena Scintilla

  38. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

  39. 4 out of 5

    Amber

  40. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  41. 4 out of 5

    Nan

  42. 4 out of 5

    Barry

  43. 5 out of 5

    Kayt18

  44. 5 out of 5

    Dale

  45. 5 out of 5

    Kim Coomey

  46. 4 out of 5

    Wesley/Jennifer Pond

  47. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Winfield

  48. 4 out of 5

    cheryl

  49. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  50. 5 out of 5

    Violet

  51. 4 out of 5

    Alton Dean

  52. 5 out of 5

    Loren Foster

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