When Isida Kidd learns that her father, a famous microbiologist and organic chemist, has quit his tenure as a researcher at a prestigious northeastern university to buy a farm in southeast Georgia, life as she knows it ends. When he dies of an apparent heart attack days after the move, she discovers that far more than just her life is at stake.
Isida, a graduate student, uncovers her father's reason for the move: he was secretly finalizing a new method for refining ethanol from switch grass. The process is so efficient that it could eventually supplant petroleum as the major source of hydrocarbon energy. But a powerful entity wants this research quashed.
She goes on the offensive to expose her pursuers, and is shocked to find they are not the usual suspects. They work for an international agricultural company that has just won new federal corn subsidies and has heavily invested in ethanol refineries. Then she finds a list that reveals their true plans. The company has covertly placed immigrant workers with ties to terrorists at petroleum refineries around the nation. They don't plan to compete with the oil companies. They plan to eliminate them.
CATACLYSM is a mainstream thriller of approximately 88,000 words.
You've got a fundamental problem. Isida Kidd is a graduate student. She's not a child. If her dad moves to timbuctoo..so what. "life as she knows it is over" sounds like a middle schooler moving to ..yanno..Scotland.
I would think she might be in favor of blowing up oil refineries too.
Of course I like the fact that you didn't choose the obvious villain (the oil companies) but this has some logic problems you'll need to fix.
Also, the antagonist is the now ever present spirit of Christmas Crapometer, the Nameless Faceless Evil on the Kickline of Scoundrel du Jour.