Ever wonder what you would do if a terrorist brutally attacked someone right in front of you? That’s what hero Clay Cantrell faces in the opening pages of Bruce Wetterau’s new mystery thriller, Killer Fog–Treachery, Greed, And Jihadi Fanatics. Then by twists and turns, Cantrell and his partner are entangled in a treacherous underworld plot involving Muslim fundamentalist terrorists and greedy opportunists, all of them operating secretly inside the U.S.

Clearly, the jihadi fanatics are not the only evil lurking in the fog. And there is no telling which of these bad actors is the most ruthless. Or what they will do to get control of a remarkable scientific discovery that promises to flood the world with cheap, safe energy.

Real Science, Novel Consequences

The fate of that world-changing discovery–a device using Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR)–drives Killer Fog’s plot forward. Though the device itself is fictional, it is based on the real scientific phenomenon called LENR.

Misidentified back in the 1980s as “cold fusion” and soon after labelled a hoax, LENR has made a surprising comeback, thanks to the efforts of researchers around the world. They have proved LENR is a real, if not yet fully understood, phenomenon that can produce heat, doesn’t consume fuel, and doesn’t give off harmful radiation. With a resume like that, LENR could become the “Holy Grail” of sustainable energy sources and a solution to global warming. Should scientists actually discover a way to harness LENR, it likely will be worth a fortune.

“Progress marches on, but somebody always gets trampled in the process,” author Bruce Wetterau pointed out. “So, it’s easy to imagine some people wouldn’t want to see a cure for the world’s addiction to oil.” Enter the novel’s jihadi fanatics, at the direction of their fictional Arab backers.

“What you don’t know…”

“Killer Fog is first and last a mystery thriller, and what better theme for a mystery than fog?” Wetterau asked. “The novel I wanted write was all about lies, deception, and the uses the villains might make of them. To my mind there are no finer examples of villainy than spies, turncoats, and terrorists. I don’t think I need to issue a spoiler alert when I say that Killer Fog has got all three.”

For the rest of us, the nagging question is “What do we do about those villains?” In an age when sneak attacks–terrorist and otherwise–make headlines on an almost daily basis, turning a blind eye could cost you your life. But overreacting to every suspicious act isn’t the answer either. That’s the dilemma Killer Fog’s hero faces as the story develops. How do you see through the fog, to know what is really happening?

“Sometimes ‘seeing through the fog’ is just a matter of looking in the right place,” Wetterau said. “When I started researching Killer Fog in 2013, I wondered how Islam, so often called a ‘religion of enlightenment and peace,’ could become a wellspring for bloodthirsty jihadi fanatics. Was there a link between the religion and those who committed murder in it’s name?”

Caution: Fanatics At Work

“That’s when I came across a 2010 think tank white paper, Shariah–The Threat to America, posted on the internet. Like most people back then, I knew little about Islamic Shariah Law, the rigid seventh century codes fundamentalists believe should govern every aspect of Muslim life. The Center For Security Policy white paper answered my original question by tracing the roots of fanatical jihadism and Islamic supremacy to Shariah Law and other Islamic texts. But it also produced a big surprise, by shining a laser light on a real life subversive program apparently put in place by the Muslim Brotherhood of North America. It’s called civilization jihad, better known as ‘stealth jihad.’”

According to the white paper, the FBI seized documents in a 2004 raid that revealed startling details of this methodical plot. Designed as a nonviolent type of jihad, ‘stealth jihad’ relies on infiltration and subterfuge to prepare the way, the white paper said, for imposing “Islamic Law in America in furtherance of re-establishing the global caliphate.”

“Yes, that’s a scary thought,” Wetterau admitted. “That 2010 white paper informed much of what I wrote about jihadi fanatics in Killer Fog. And about the plight moderate Muslims also can suffer at the hands of the radical fundamentalists. Just how big a threat Muslim extremists here are today is impossible to say. But events around the world in the five years since that white paper was issued have made us all aware of Shariah Law and radical fundamentalist designs. Especially since the shocking appearance of  ISIS. We can’t just shrug off fundamentalist extremism as a matter of bloody but isolated incidents any longer.”

“I think what is really going on is a religious schism between fundamentalists and moderates in Islam,” Wetterau said. “And in Killer Fog  one of my characters concludes that the solution to jihadi fanaticism can only come through reform from within the Islamic faith. Coincidentally, British Prime Minister David Cameron recently spoke out bluntly on that point. An AP news story reported he “challenged Muslim communities to ‘own the problem’ [of Islamic extremists], arguing that those who reject extremism are the key to driving out radicals in schools, universities, local councils, charities, and prisons.”

The fictional jihadi fanatics in Killer Fog operate in both the stealth jihad and violent jihad modes. And they’ve got company. The novel draws in a classic analogy by way of a backstory about Nazi fanaticism. Flashbacks hark back to pre-World War II America in the days before the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, when Nazi fanatics and sycophants hid their true designs behind a fog of lies and deceit.

“We learned a painful lesson on Dec. 7, 1941,” Wetterau explained. “When it comes to fanaticism, we need to be vigilant. Always.”

Killer Fog is Wetterau’s second novel and the second in his Clay Cantrell series. A former reference book author, he previously published World History, A Dictionary of Important People, Places, and Events (Henry Holt, 1994), among others. The Killer Fog e-book edition can be ordered now for delivery on Dec. 7 at www.Amazon.com/dp/B016WQROOK. The hardcover and trade paper editions will be available online or by special order through book stores on Dec. 7. Visit his website, www.brucewetterau.com.

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