Quantum

Tom Grace, Author
Tom Grace, Author Warner Books $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-446-52410-0
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-57042-868-5
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-7505-3441-3
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Like James Bond, ex-navy SEAL Nolan Kilkenny battles to keep a potentially world-dominating technology from falling into the wrong hands in this exciting techno-thriller, a follow-up to Grace's first Nolan adventure, Spyder Web. In 1948, migr German scientist Johann Wolff, working at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, studies his research notes and makes an amazing discovery. ("" `Mein Gott!' Wolff cried out, as an image of the delicate, multidimensional structures that define both matter and energy clearly formed in his mind."") Minutes later, he is dead--killed by a Jewish assassin who thinks (erroneously) that the scientist conducted research on humans for the Nazis. More than 50 years later, Wolff's research becomes vitally important, as Kilkenny, who coordinates projects for a research group called MARC on the Ann Arbor campus, finds himself and his colleagues under attack by a band of Russian mercenaries working for Victor Orlov, the richest and most powerful private citizen in Russia. Orlov has learned that MARC, inspired by Wolff's writings, has discovered a Theory of Everything--sought in vain by Einstein and other great physicists--that will create an infinite energy supply and make all other sources, from gasoline to nuclear power, obsolete. Grace's prose can be clumsy, and his plot requires some suspension of belief. But in Kilkenny and his family (Nolan's father, an international financier, funded MARC, and grandfather Martin, a woodworker, was a friend of Johann Wolff), he has created a moving human portrait of America's technological progress. A few explosive action scenes (including a shoot-out at a college street art fair) enliven this nicely textured adventure. (Aug.)
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