This awkward first in a new WWII-era series from Fanning (Chain Reaction) introduces Elizabeth “Libby” Clark, a chemist at the secret atomic bomb development facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn., who encounters sexism, suspicion, and jealousy from male colleagues as well as from women employed in secretarial and other clerical positions. Only the friendship of her roommate, Ruth Nance, and the approval of Gen. Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, provide solace. After Ruth and Libby stumble across the body of Ruth’s sister, Irene, who also worked at Oak Ridge, their pursuit of the case results in Ruth losing her job and Libby facing official stonewalling and pressure to forget what she has seen in the name of the national interest. Libby subsequently turns to an eccentric coterie of scientists for help in tracking down the killer in a story guilty of gaps in logic and an obvious perpetrator. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel & Goderich. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/22/2014 Release date: 11/01/2014 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.