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Goodbye California

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,081 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
'Earthquake country,' said the Professor. 'San Francisco is geologically and seismologically a city that waits to die. Los Angeles is ringed by earthquake centres - seven massive 'quakes so far. We have no idea where the next, the monster, will hit...'

Until a criminal fanatic kidnaps a nuclear scientist and builds his own atomic bombs. If exploded on California's fault lin
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 1980 by Fontana (first published 1977)
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Thomas Strömquist
Another late MacLean, another terrorist with enormous ransom demands. This one has his own nuclear weapons and knows where to set them of to say Goodbye to California. A definite pick-up after the poor Seawitch, but not a very memorable one from the author.
Elker Kamel
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I am reading this book now. but after reading the reviews ' I don't know if I can read it all
Kimia Wood
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Alistair MacLean is known for action-packed, fast-moving, high-stakes mysteries. Goodbye California is no different.

Terrorists have attacked a nuclear power station, stolen truck-loads of nuclear fuel, and kidnapped several nuclear physicist professors and some female secretaries. What is their plan? What do they want?

The husband of one of the kidnapped women is a detective sergeant – a “cop” who can be a terror to those both inside and outside the law. He and his son (CHP) lay down their badges
Lenny Husen
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
I love MacLean but this book was not well written and was boring.
The book consisted of basically one main character who was over the top, "Ryder" (no first name) who was a LAPD Sergeant who is smarter than the entire FBI and CIA combined, shows no emotion or worry although his beautiful wife and beautiful daughter are being held captive (and his daughter has been shot), is able to understand everything there is to know about Earthquakes by reading library books for 90 minutes, and basically, (a
I picked this up because it was the only book in English at the hotel in Bali and it wasn't bad holiday reading.

In some ways the book had to be read from a bit of a historical perspective, for example, cops resigning, then running their own investigation on a major terrorist threat outside the law wouldn't really be getting congratulated in the middle of it, and the gentleman terrorist, who doesn't really want to kill anyone is also a little far fetched. However, the characters were interesting
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must say I am surprised that this book had so few takers! This is one of Maclean's best works after Guns of Navarone! Bits and pieces were boring especially a lot of seismological references.. but this one kept us holding our breath till the last page, to say nothing of the dry humour. A map would have been excellent with the text... being a non-American naturally I had no idea about the geographical references. If you are a Maclean (or for all that matters suspense) lover... this is a must fo ...more
Henri Moreaux
A group of Muslim extremists steal nuclear fuel from a power plant then proceed to manufacture nuclear bombs by kidnapping nuclear scientists and setting them to work.

The terrorist leader then tries to blackmail the United States under threat of nuclear blast triggered earthquakes. All the while a local police officer whose wife was kidnapped at the power plant attempts to uncover the terror plot.

Interesting premise, keeps your attention, at 256 pages it's a quick read.
Mike Grady
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-year
A one - off from Alistair MacLean. While I did have issue with the premise of a rogue off duty police detective taking the law into his own hands and preventing a terrorist attack, I did appreciate the scientific explanations and liked going down memory lane with the late 70's technology.

Don't go out of your way to read this book.
Cindy S. Allwell
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable read!!

This is a quick paced, interesting novel that was written and takes place in the 1970's. Its a novel about terrorism by a weird sect of Muslims in the US, written before 9/11 was even dreamed about. I really liked the characters in this novel....the author really made them come alive.!!
Richard van Balen
Apr 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
The first time ever I've not been able to actually finish a book. Not because the book is bad, the story poorly written but entirely due to personal preference.
The lengthy dialogues and a type of story that had been told numerous times made me lose my interest.
Nuclear weapons are placed along the San Andreas fault so that, upon detonation, most of California's biggest cities will fall into the ocean. MacLean's thrillers are older but still seem timely today.
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book - my only criticism is: "Can we please have a map to go with it?"
The author kept talking about areas of California & nearby Cities and I have no idea where they are in relation to each other. A map would have made the book even more enjoyable
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
This one was just ok. There was not much chance of figuring things out, just the slow reveal of the plot. The story had a too abrupt ending, and Maclean did not write the actual climax of the plot, just a hint of how it started and then it was over. Too bad.
D Wedd
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a lot of action in this one, it's all about the investigation,the inevitable final battle takes about 4 pages. It's as if the author just decided to rap it up quickly. If you are interested in earthquakes you might find it interesting.
Albert Belcher
Oct 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is an odd occurrence for me; in regard to an Alistair MacLean book. It was so very boring!
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
After an earthquake in California, it is discovered that five nuclear scientists have disappeared. Could these events be related? Ryder is tasked to find out and to prevent more disaster.
Jan 25, 2013 rated it liked it
This is not in the same class as Caravan to Vaccares or Ice Station Zebra, but it is interesting nevertheless.
Alistaire King
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
By late MacLean standards this isn't bad. At times the pace flags with overlong discussions on seismology.
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thiller
A good thriller
P.S. Winn
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Of course, everyone expects the Big Earthquake to hit California someday, what if someone decides to help mother nature along. Alistair MacLean is the go to author for suspense thrillers
Iain Cosgrove
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Read this again recently and really liked it. I loved the main protagonist, and some of the humour was brilliantly done. JUst as exciting now as it was when I was a teenager!
Marvin Suther
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Even though the story line was a bit far-fetched (in my opinion), it was an enjoyable read.
Edward Lengel
A lot of talking, a lot of boozing (MacLean's alcoholism was well advanced by this point) but not much action till the last 10 pages. Strangely, though, it's still readable.
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is actually a thriller about a mad science person planting a bomb and setting up a big earthquake where Calif would fall into the ocean. This premise amused me. I lived In Calif from 1953-2014 and I was in some very big and scary earthquakes. The way the faults are layed out part of Calif could actually fall into the ocean. People use to tease me that Palm Springs the desert could become Palm Springs Beach.
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Jul 27, 2012
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Alistair Stuart MacLean (Scottish Gaelic: Alasdair MacGill-Eain), the son of a Scots Minister, was brought up in the Scottish Highlands. In 1941, at the age of eighteen, he joined the Royal Navy; two and a half years spent aboard a cruiser were to give him the background for HMS Ulysses, his first novel, the outstanding documentary novel on the war at sea. After the war he gained an English Honour ...more