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by Richard Cox

Pub Date: May 31st, 2005
ISBN: 0-345-46285-8
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Laden with eye-popping special effects, Cox’s follow-up to his 2004 debut (Rift) turns on speculative high-energy physics and the Higgs bosun.

In Zurich for a meeting of his international automotive parts company, Steve Keeley buys a $20,000 engagement ring for his girl back in the States. But a call to her cell phone finds her bombed and riotously in the act with a pickup. Stunned, Steve himself gets bombed, picks up a Russian whore in a cabaret and later is pushed out a three-story window. Following life-saving brain surgery, he wakes from a coma after several days with nothing broken, only a head injury. A bit later the Russian whore shows up and returns his ring. Leaving the hospital, Steve goes back to the cabaret to thank her, only to find that she died from a fall just like his . . . the day after he fell. So did a ghost return his ring? Soon Steve finds that he can foresee what people think before they say it. He also feels surrounded by a hallucinatory force field and something that follows him about. Meanwhile, down in Texas, Mike McNair heads experiments on the huge, atom-smashing supercollider searching for the Higgs boson (aka, the God particle). Mike has big political problems with his boss, who may replace him with Samantha, a smart Chinese physicist from the Swiss supercollider in Geneva. We and all matter in the universe are literally stardust held together by the Higgs boson. And it’s the Higgs force field that has taken over Steve Keeley, who must collide with McNair.

A gripper of a yarn, swatting around really big ideas. Laughably not clothbound.