Deadly laser technology falls into terrorist hands, threatens nation in new spy thriller

In “Focused to Kill,” writer-scientist Bill Silfvast shows what happens when a young hotshot physicist is recruited by an Islamic terrorist group
(PR NewsChannel) / February 14, 2012 / SAINT HELENA, Calif. 

Focused to Kill

"Focused to Kill" by Bill Silfvast

It is not unheard of for a brilliant young graduate student to use powerful lasers while conducting breakthrough scientific experiments. That is, unless he happens to be an American gone rogue who has joined an Islamic terror cell. In “Focused to Kill” (ISBN 146794937X), author and scientist Bill Silfvast creates a thriller in which FBI agents attempt to capture terrorists who developed a lethal laser beam that can kill at vast distances with deadly precision.

Former Berkeley physics student Paul Ammar Mercer has become severely disillusioned by an American government that ignores the poor in favor of big money corporations. Vulnerable and distraught, he is recruited by an Islamic terror cell to covertly develop a murderous laser beam.

The group soon finds itself in the crosshairs of the FBI’s Anti-Terrorist Task Force. Task Force head Jim Campbell gets a crash course in lethal laser technology through his nephew, who also happens to be the friend of physicist terror recruit Ammar. Through an intriguing coincidence, Jim will uncover a web of deceit and secret alliances that reach all the way to the White House.

To thwart this conspiracy, Jim becomes entrenched in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Ammar. The action takes the two men cross country to Washington, where the laser’s viability and its secretive financiers are finally revealed in a startling showdown. Quick-paced and gripping, this crime thriller is based on current laser technology and set in a world where terror is always waiting to be unleashed. 

“I based my novel on real technology and the modern-day reality and terror of violent extremists with their terror cells, government spooks and rogue scientists,” says Silfvast.

In a recent review, Eira Long, editor of Perfectly Scientific Press, states that “Bill Silfvast’s ‘Focused to Kill’ is a stark, gripping story about a deadly technology and the all-too-human terrorists responsible for its existence. Silfvas’’s technical expertise makes the premise of this thriller all the more plausible – and disturbing – while his imagination and eye for detail create a richly-textured story, worthy of comparison to the best political thrillers on the shelves today.”

“[Bill Silfvast is] the first laser scientist to write a novel about death rays,” writes author and technical columnist, Jeff Hecht.

“Focused to Kill” is available for sale online at and other channels.

About the Author: First-time novelist Bill Silfvast is a well-known laser scientist and professor who loves to write. His early career was spent at the renowned Bell Laboratories, conducting laser research. Later, he became a professor of physics and optics at the University of Central Florida. In a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser’s discovery, he was recognized as one of the 27 Laser Luminaries. He holds the rank of fellow in three technical societies and is the author of over 100 technical papers and a highly successful laser textbook. He currently lives in California.

Bill Silfvast
Phone:             (707) 967-8569



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