MALICIOUS DECEPTION, a techno thriller novel featuring Dr. Essie Openwaters, is now available on Amazon ( Dr. Essie Openwaters, a twenty-one-year-old Native American, starts her new dream job as a research scientist at Washington National Research Laboratory only to find the inner demons planted during her childhood prevent her from being a team player, a requirement to remain at the laboratory. When she finds a fifty-year-old memo in a surplus Atomic Energy Commission desk, life turns into a nightmare as she struggles to prevent a nuclear time bomb from devastating the Pacific Northwest while dodging assassins dispatched by Ty Rettig, a psychopathic billionaire who must stop Essie from uncovering the secrets the memo could lead to.

Malicious Deception is a major rewrite of a previous novel, Nuclear Time Bomb.

Like to Read a Good Thriller?

Twenty-one-year-old Dr. ESSIE OPENWATERS is brilliant, beautiful and a loner. Raised by her Kootenai Indian father in an abandoned wooden shack, Essie grew up friendless, motherless, and poor. She was stronger, faster, and more intelligent than her classmates. A year after her father was killed, she received an early scholarship to college. Five years later she earned her second PhD at Stanford University and began her dream job as a research scientist in a national laboratory. While struggling to adapt to meet the laboratory’s teamwork expectations, Essie’s life flips upside down when her discovery pits her against a psychopathic billionaire who perceives Essie’s death as the only way to protect deep secrets that could destroy him.



I’ve been busy updating STRATAGEM in between packing boxes and signing papers (we move next week. It’s incredible how much stuff two people can accumulate). The story is written and it flows well. I’ve been trying to cut below 90,000 words. It was at 118,000 and is currently at 92,500. I’ve also been tuning the key turning points. It heads for the developmental editor in less than 3 weeks and I want to get as much bang for the buck as I can for a three grand edit.


I published NUCLEAR TIME BOMB on Amazon on June 25, 2021. It is available in Kindle and paperback form.

Nuclear Time Bomb is a 96,000-word thriller that pits 21-year-old Dr. Essie Openwaters, a recent Stanford graduate with dual PhDs, against Ty Rettig, a billionaire psychopathic killer whose secrets Essie is inadvertently uncovering.

Raised by her Kootenai Indian father to distrust others in a town bigoted against her, Essie struggles to succeed at her new research scientist job where teamwork is prerequisite. She discovers a 50-year-old memo written on Atomic Energy Commission stationary hidden in a surplus AEC desk. Her inquiries into the memo are reported to Ty Rettig, Undersecretary of Homeland Security, who thought he destroyed the only copy of the memo decades before.

Convinced of the memo’s veracity, Essie ignores a series of threats and soon finds herself the target of multiple assassination attempts. Her life changes when her boss introduces her to an old classmate, currently serving as the National Security Advisor, which leads to Essie supporting the Secretary of Energy in a secret campaign to stop the bomb from devastating part of the Pacific Northwest.

Essie battles government bureaucracy, corrupt government officials, and Rettig’s agents in a race against time.

Nuclear Time Bomb is a story of love, hate, survival, and Essie discovering who she is. Nuclear Time Bomb is the first in a series of Essie Openwaters techno-thriller novels. The second in the series, Stratagem, is under beta review and will be published in 2022.

Check me out on FaceBook as well. As always, stay tuned and stay safe.



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W. Michael Hewitt

Copyright 2020 W. Michael Hewitt

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the prior written permission of the author; except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews. All characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author is purely coincidental.

Please note that several chapters of an earlier version of Nuclear Nightmare: PUREX Leak that I had simply called “PUREX Leak” have been removed from this site and are being replaced with the Nuclear Nightmare chapters–a revised storyline.

NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE Chapters Published On This Site
CHAPTER 1.   PUREX Q-CELL August 12, 2020
CHAPTER 2. COSI August 19, 2020
Additional chapters TBD–August 26 post