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 Contemporary science fictiontinged novel featuring some of the characters from Broken Symmetries (1983), thankfully without that yarn's overwrought melodrama. Following an acrimonious divorce, Anne-Marie Brand finds that her ex, Charlie, has gained custody of their son Carlos; she has a daughter, Jenny, by her current beau, physicist Peter Slater--who's struggling to formulate a new approach to quantum theory. Anne-Marie's problem is that Carlos isn't actually Charlie's son but her brother Alain's, the result of a savage rape. A dealer in ancient artifacts, Alain agrees to admit to Carlos's paternity, but in return Anne-Marie must inquire of the Cretan archaeologist and physicist Manolis Minakis the source of his stunning collection of Minoan artifacts. Surprisingly, Manolis opens up to Anne-Marie, telling her his complicated life story, even showing her the cave where he found the artifacts. Manolis also hints to Peter that he's found a way to reverse time in a small, limited way. After Manolis dies in the earthquake that seals the cave forever, Peter uses the old man's time-reversing device to reconstruct a picture of Manolis's mother- -and finally Anne-Marie understands the full Greek tragedy of Manolis's life and why he was so willing to help her. Impressive, low-key, resonant, with a fascinating Cretan backdrop and life-sized characters: Preuss's best outing so far.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-86346-2
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1997