cover image Where the Fulcrum Lies

Where the Fulcrum Lies

Matt Lakes. Lanier Press, $14.95 trade paper (429p) ISBN 978-1-61005-756-1

Lakes’s novel effectively probes the contours of a Russian nuclear physicist’s mind during 1961, at the apex of the Cold War. Daniil Kuryakin, a veteran and introspective patriot, is instrumental in designing and testing “Big Ivan,” the largest nuclear bomb ever detonated. It changes Daniil’s life, but his world is rocked again when he learns his wife has died. As Daniil struggles to recover his equilibrium, Zoya Sergeyevna enters his life; she’s a friend of the wife of Daniil’s best friend and wartime comrade, Igor, who struggles with alcoholism. While Daniil attempts to understand his swirling feelings for the alluring Zoya, he is also compelled to discover the truth behind the strange circumstances of his wife’s death. All the while his work as a nuclear physicist continues, as do shadowy KGB machinations. Lakes is equally adept writing about love or physics, and sometimes his prose captures both simultaneously: “Given enough time and exposure to an unrestrained influence that surpasses their critical mass, things will exhibit the ability to turn into their opposites.” This is an accomplished blend of the historical and the personal. [em](BookLife) [/em]