Peter Schechter creates a harrowing tale and a real eye-opener into the world of politics and the problems caused by the United States' reliance on foreign powers for natural resources in his latest novel, Pipeline.

Peter Schechter creates a harrowing tale and a real eye-opener into the world of politics and the problems caused by the United States' reliance on foreign powers for natural resources in his latest novel, Pipeline.

The fast-paced thriller is set amid an energy crisis in California. The state lies in chaos as the sweltering heat and lack of electricity drags on due to a lack of natural gas, which provides the state with electricity. Many in hospitals and nursing homes are dying, looters are breaking into stores and problems escalate when an outage frees the inmates at a maximum-security prison.

Shortly after the crisis, Anthony Ruiz is introduced. Ruiz has done well for him self by becoming special advisor to the President of the United States on domestic affairs, despite humble beginnings. He entered the White House after helping the Washington state governor get re-elected and being introduced to the soon-to-be president after ascending the law enforcement ranks in Washington state. Unlike many of his peers at the White House, the world of politics was still somewhat new to him. After a middle of the night phone call, he quickly learns of the situation in California and is fast put to work.

While Ruiz and others in Washington work on solving the problem in California, other characters a world away in Russia are scheming their own plans after learning of the situation in California. Power-hungry Russian politicos move swiftly to craft a plan to take advantage of the United States during this time of difficulty.

I can easily see this book becoming the next big political thriller at the box office. It would be well-received by Tom Clancy fans.

I commend Schechter for choosing to write about a topic most of us like to think isn't a problem. Even though many people have embraced "green" lifestyle choices, we still rely heavily on foreign countries for resources such as oil. I think the overall message of the book is a realistic wake-up call most of us in the U.S. need.