Delving back into my pile of indie-reviewed work after not reading much for the last month or so, I decided to kick off the coming spring season with this interesting-sounding conspiracy thriller based on some very topical events. The author contacted me through theindieview.com in January offering up this intriguing premise: what if the LHC at Cern had caused the Fukushima Earthquake? What if switching it on has been responsible for a number of “natural” disasters in the last few years?
When the previous Director of CERN dies in mysterious circumstances, our protagonist Tom Halligan is recruited to continue the mission to find the Higgs-Bosun, the so-called “God Particle”. Then the story opens up – is the search causing these events? And was the death of the previous director that mysterious? Is Halligan himself now in danger?
Playing on fears about emergent technology of the last few years, the author has pieced together a fairly recognisable idea, the sort of conspiracy thrillers that paid off quite well for the likes of Michael Crichton and Dan Brown but has also mixed up some fairly recognisable disaster movie tropes too. That’s not to say the book is mundane… it isn’t. After all, familiarity is often what sells a lot of copycat books and this is definitely one of the better indie-published examples in the genre. It is a cracking read – also emulating the likes of Crichton and Brown on making you know what is going to happen next. Being a good page-turner is what people look for with this type of book and for that at least the author has given the reader what they want.
There are a few little niggles here: some superfluous words in places – I felt it could have done with just one final eye over the text purely for tight-ness of the prose. It is a lot better than some I have read though. My second niggle is the info dump – the author treads over that fine line between showing and telling once too often and veers dangerously close to giving us lengthy (and sometimes unnecessary) exposition. Most of this comes at the beginning though, particularly (and surprisingly) in the prologue which is supposed to be about setting the scene for the plot. As the book wears on though this becomes less of a problem though there are one or two exceptions.
Some of the dialogue is a little stiff and this detracts from what should be quite a free-flowing work of fiction. Despite this, it is generally an easy read and the narrative rarely feels stale or obstructive. For this, the author has overseen some effective editing. Good job!