From Publishers Weekly
A bizarre human experiment complicates a physicist's quest for the Nobel Prize in Cox's engaging, challenging second novel, a wryly comic thriller that incorporates several concepts from modern particle theory. The story hinges on two parallel and apparently unrelated story lines—in the more credible one, Texas physicist Mike McNair is involved in a high-pressure chase to detect the Higgs field and find the so-called "God particle" that will provide crucial insights into the nature of matter, time and the universe. As McNair closes in on his goal, an executive named Steve Keeley is nearly killed in Zurich after visiting a prostitute and being thrown from a window by an overzealous bouncer. Keeley miraculously survives, but the surgery that saves his life also produces a variety of strange symptoms. When Keeley sees a TV interview with McNair on the eve of the scientist's pivotal discovery, he realizes that his symptoms reflect a version of the Higgs field in his head that has given him near-psychic powers. Cox does a nice job handling a complex subject, but for all his erudite scientific writing and his humorous treatment of McNair's dating difficulties, his execution of the "mad scientist conducts an experiment that runs amok" plot line remains uneven at best. (June)
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A man takes a fall in Zurich. Soon after, he wakes up in a hospital and realizes that something terrible has occurred: he can feel what's about to happen before it does, and his brain keeps telling him he can do things that are physically impossible. Meanwhile, in Texas, a physicist is at the cutting edge of the search for an elusive (and possibly nonexistent) particle called the Higgs boson, also known as the God Particle. When the two men meet, they embark on a course that seems bound for cataclysm. Cox's previous novel, The Rift
(2004), garnered praise for its blend of adventure and philosophical exploration. This one works for the same reason and will appeal to the same audience. The author's interpolation of current research (the Higgs boson is one of physics' Holy Grails) may win the novel some fans in the scientific community, too. Cox's prose could use a little smoothing (phrases like "Serena's heaving breasts" occur a little too frequently), but all in all, this is an imaginative mix of mystery and fantasy. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved