The Einstein Papers

Craig Dirgo, Author
Craig Dirgo, Author Pocket Books $23 (368p) ISBN 978-0-671-03489-4
Reviewed on: 05/03/1999
Release date: 05/01/1999
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-671-02322-5
Paperback - 454 pages - 978-1-4954-8896-2
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Einsteins Unified Field Theory is the MacGuffin in this competent debut by Clive Cussler collaborator Dirgo (Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed). The premise is that Einstein actually came up with the theory in August 1945, but hid his notes and formulae on his boat Windforce after Hiroshima. Now, nearly 40 years after Einsteins death and the loss of his boat at sea, a belligerent China plans to use a weapon based on the UFT in a surprise attack on Taiwan. To implement the attack, the Chinese kidnap Choi, a top-notch physicist from America. But when hes rescued from prison by John Taft of the National Intelligence Agency, the Chinese switch their focus to acquiring the Einstein papers, and the chase is on. In the second of two set pieces (Taft and Chois suspenseful escape from China is the first), Taft and his partner Larry Martinez spend the mid-part of the novel tracking a Chinese courier from Boston to Washington. The novels complicated final third brings together those on both sides engaged in research, diplomacy and skullduggery. Overall, the writing is breezy and clear, the action is constant and the weapon developed from Einsteins theory is credible and fascinating, though Dirgos knowledge of subatomic physics seems hazy at best. Despite some glaringly cute touches (Tafts NIA number is 7; there are several in-joke references to Cussler and Pitt) and a hero whose chief character trait seems to be the ability to get up after being knocked down, knocked out or shot, this is an entertaining debut that should definitely appeal to Cussler fans. (May)
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