Six years after the mysterious disappearance of Heather Mallender played havoc with his seedy existence (Into the Blue,...



Six years after the mysterious disappearance of Heather Mallender played havoc with his seedy existence (Into the Blue, 1991), Harry Barnett's life is turned upside-down once more by an unexpected discovery--the news that he has a grown son. It's not the happiest of reunions, since David Venning is comatose after an insulin overdose doctors don't expect him to survive, and his mother, Harry's long-ago lover Iris Hewitt, isn't pleased that somebody's tipped Harry off that his son is in the hospital. Floundering around for some way to help David, a brilliant mathematician sure to suffer brain damage even if he recovers, Harry grabs two slender threads: David's consuming interest in hyper-dimensions, which led him to magician Adam Slade, and his firing, together with several colleagues, by Byron Lazenby, president of Globescope, a firm that predicts the future. A talk with Slade leads nowhere, but the Globescope connection ends up leading halfway around the world--via the news that two of the other experts working on Globescope's Project Sybil have lost not only their jobs (Lazenby refused to accept their downbeat forecasts for 2050) but their lives in suspicious accidents. Before you can say, ""beyond the fourth dimension,"" Harry's joined forces with the survivors of Project Sybil, who are sure they can stop the killings if they can just get hold of an incriminating tape-recording David hid inside Lazenby's office during their final meeting. So Harry's agreeable stint of globe-hopping (Copenhagen, the United Nations, a Hudson River asylum, the Cotton Bowl) ends with a tense search for the McGuffin in Globescope's Washington headquarters. It's not giving too much away to say that Harry's adventures among the futurologists, though they begin with a fine flourish of melodrama, don't exactly work out as neatly as he expects. Father and son, cloak and dagger, relativity and quantum mechanics--Goddard (Closed Circle, 1994, etc.) is surely the suavest guide to this unlikely mâlange of formulas.

Pub Date: June 1, 1997


Page Count: 400

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1997