The cover of "The Tinderbox Plot"

The Tinderbox Plot

Michael Berns ’64, PhD ’68

A Big Red engineering grad is the heroine of this neo-Cold War thriller, in which an elite team of ex-KGB agents smuggles a nuclear bomb into the U.S. with the aim of causing mass causalities. The villains also plan to strike a blow against capitalist ideology by weaponizing the Internet—exacerbating existing social divides and fomenting a second civil war in America. Fighting to stop them is a Cornell-educated expert in cybersecurity and image analysis who happens to be the former lover of the Russian spymaster at the heart of the scheme. The book is the debut novel for Berns, a biomedical engineer on the faculty of the University of California, Irvine.

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