Since Michael Crichton passed away, there have been no new science-based thriller writers who have really stepped up to wow me. Justiz not only has a grasp of how to make complex topics such as determining where the object that explodes above the crater came from or how the Doppler shift works:
The Doppler shift was the way you could tell when a train went by. The frequency of the sound suddenly shifts much lower, but Jake had it all wrong. Carin was shaking her head. "There's no way the Doppler could have shifted. You'll only hear a Doppler shift in the first place if some object changes in motion relative to you. This thing was coming at us the whole time, so the Doppler can't even shift once, much less twice..."
Justiz also has a great grasp of working humor into his writing. The exchanges between Carin and Jake are full of sarcasm, and many of the characters the pair run into, including the computer, add to the wry amusement scattered throughout. I absolutely loved Chief Tuckman, the police chief in a tiny Idaho town with an airstrip. The main pair help out Tuckman realize he's in love with the diner owner at the airstrip. And you may be thinking "what's romance got to do with a thriller"? But believe me when I say it works and provides a bit of comic relief along the way.
Somehow Specific Impulse manages to weave a compelling story with plausible science and great characters you can relate to, leaving you wanting more by the end. If you like science-based thrillers, be sure to check out Charles Justiz' Specific Impulse. I wasn't sure I was going to like the book, but now I know I'll be keeping an eye out for the next one in the trilogy!