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The Orinoco Uranium

Published by Indigo River Publishing
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

“ exciting tale rife with intrigue, adventure, and mystery.” — Wayne Abrahamson (US Navy, retired). Author of Black Silver and Sergeant Dooley and the Submarine Raiders.

Inspired by a series of true events and based on detailed research and personal knowledge of the history and geology of Venezuela, The Orinoco Uranium is a story of conflict and survival in WWII South America.

In the spring of 1944, a geophysical survey party detects a cargo of smuggled uranium on a stranded ship. Beached on the Orinoco River bank after a fierce storm, the ship was enroute from Nazi Germany to Argentina with radioactive metal stolen from a Berlin laboratory. The renegade German physicist behind the theft intends to use the cargo as a passport to a new life in South America.

American geologist Jerry MacDonald and his wife, Maria, are living and working in the scenic lakeside community of Maracaibo, a city of intrigue and espionage in neutral Venezuela. Looking for new oil felds, Jerry leads the geophysical survey party to the Orinoco River delta, deep in the South American wilderness. When he informs the American government about the strange discovery of the uranium upon his return to Maracaibo, the ensuing efforts to seize it by both Germans and Americans cause a violent encounter in the South Atlantic Ocean.

About The Author

Stephen O. Sears grew up in South Florida, boating and fishing off the Florida Keys and in the Everglades. He studied geology at the University of Florida and earned a PhD in geochemistry from Penn State. Following a career as a petroleum geologist with Shell Oil in Texas, California, and Louisiana, Sears joined the faculty of the LSU Petroleum Engineering Department in 2005. Sears' interest in the German U-Boat campaign originated in 2001, when he was on an oil field vessel that discovered the sunken U-166, on the Gulf of Mexico seafloor in mile-deep water near the wreck of the torpedoed freighter Robert E Lee. The author of over forty technical, scientific, and general interest publications on geology, engineering, and higher education, Stephen O. Sears lives with his wife, Barbara, in Mandeville, Louisiana.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Indigo River Publishing (April 4, 2023)
  • Length: 296 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781954676381

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Raves and Reviews

"A captivating thriller both historically instructive and dramatically engrossing."

– Kirkus Review

“Sears’s exciting sequel to Sunniland, set in Venezuela, again follows Jerry MacDonald and wife Maria during the second World War, this time on a mission to the Orinoco delta in search of petroleum deposits for Pride Oil…The pace is steady throughout, driven by the question of who will finally get the uranium. Sears mines from that the kind of suspense that keeps readers guessing—and turning pages. This is a skillfully told narrative that will grip lovers of historical maritime action, with an ending that both satisfies and jolts, especially a final connection to history…A powerfully told WWII thriller centered on the search for a freighter’s lost cargo of uranium.

– BookLife

“... the story flowed effortlessly, I did not feel like the plot was artificially pushed one way or the other…I was very surprised on how much of an action packed story it ended up being.”

– Ana Riquer, Geophysicist

“The Orinoco Uranium offers a continuation of the intriguing career of Pride Oil Company employee Jerry MacDonald, whom author Stephen Sears introduced in his first novel, Sunniland…In the hands of a less-skillful storyteller, The Orinoco Uranium might get bogged down with its presentation of many minor characters and plot details. Sears, though, presents a varied cast of characters in quickly drawn vignettes that offer brief physical sketches as well insights into their characters…In addition to a gripping plot and well-drawn characters, the novel offers economical tutorials on a wide array of topics: “seismic shoots” and other technical aspects of the petroleum industry; the failed German nuclear weapons program; nautical terminology and the mechanics of floatplanes, U-boats, sailboats, and freighters; deep-sea diving equipment (if she thought she ever would, this reader will now never don a diving helmet); the geography of South America and topography of Venezuela; and the destructive power of whales, crocodiles, piranhas, and curare-poisoned arrows. All this Stephen Sears offers in an efficient and engaging way—in the manner of the best instructors we’ve known: those who wear their learning lightly and who prompt their students to keep reading.”

– Emma G.B. Richardson (Ret.), English Department, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

“Using the final months of WWII, and the collapse of the Third Reich, as the backdrop, the author creates an exciting tale rife with intrigue, adventure, and mystery. The author expertly uses the oil fields of Venezuela, a region vital to the Allied war effort, and a cast of well-defined characters to support a story based on real-world events. A series of events, which portend the possibilities of exported atomic material and technology ending up in the hands of South American governments on the eve of the Atomic Age. I am happy to state that this novel will always have a home on my own library shelves.

– Wayne Abrahamson (US Navy, retired). Author of Black Silver and Sergeant Dooley and the Submarine Raiders.

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