Spiral

Paul McEuen, Dial, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-34211-7
Set in and around the city of Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell physics professor McEuen's fiction debut successfully mixes science and suspense. When Liam Connor—an 86-year-old Cornell emeritus professor of biology, a Nobel Prize winner, and pioneer in the field of nanoscience—inexplicably jumps to his death off a bridge into one of Ithaca's gorges, the entire community is stunned, especially Connor's granddaughter, Maggie, and his academic confidant, professor Jake Sterling. But when micro-robots—silicon and metal constructs that Connor helped create—are found in his stomach, Maggie and Jake realize that he didn't commit suicide: he was tortured before being murdered. As they race to unravel cryptic messages Connor left behind, his ruthless killer plots to unleash an ingenious biological "doomsday weapon" with origins all the way back to WWII Japan. While the cutting-edge science and apocalyptic backdrop power the narrative, it's the cast of endearing characters and their interpersonal relationships and struggles that make this emotionally intense and thought-provoking novel so readable. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/10/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
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FORMATS
Open Ebook - 978-0-679-60435-8
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-7553-7464-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-88127-4
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7553-7463-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-88126-7
Hardcover - 312 pages - 978-0-7553-7462-5
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