Seattle resident Charles B. Neff is a university administrator whose past experience in directing development projects in Colombia and Russia plays a vital role in the development of his novel, Hidden Impact.
Neff's tale infuses a third-world setting in Nicaragua with murder, espionage and military intelligence, including the CIA.
Pressured by his financial situation, Jim
Nordberg decides to accept a job offer that requires his relocation to Nicaragua and his assistance on getting a development project off its feet. He has personal reasons for taking on the project as well. Long ago as a young man, Jim was stationed in the very same village
to which he must now go. Memories come flooding back, of a family he once stayed with and a young woman
who is tattooed in his mind forever.
Jimís anticipation is quickly quelled when he steps off the plane and finds that modern Nicaragua does not match his memories. Shocked by the devastation around him, Jim harbors a distant hope that he might be able to visit his friends once more. Sadly he discovers that few of them remain, and those that he does find are not the same people he once knew.
Clouded by these thoughts from the past and his slow adjustment to these changes, Jim walks into a difficult situation. Old acquaintances are suddenly determined to get his help, which raises Jimís suspicions. All he can discern at the moment is that it involves locating a valuable diary,
one so valuable that powerful people are willing to kill for it.
While Neff presents a good plot and provides a good atmosphere for his readers, his talent seems unseasoned and left me wanting. While the book does seem to be available through Amazon.com, not all online bookstores carry it Ė Barnes&Noble and Amazon.ca do not even list Hidden Impact.