Libby McGugan was born 1972 in Airdrie, a small town east of Glasgow in Scotland, to a Catholic mother and a Protestant-turned-atheist father, who loved science. She enjoyed a mixed diet of quantum physics, spirituality, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Her ambition was to grow up and join the Rebel Alliance in a Galaxy Far, Far Away. Instead she went to Glasgow University and studied medicine. A practising doctor, she has worked in Scotland, in Australia with the Flying Doctors service and, for a few months, in a field hospital in Basra, during the second Gulf War. She loves travelling and the diversity in how different people see the world. She has been trekking in the Himalaya of Bhutan, potholing in Sarawak, backpacking in Chile and Europe, and diving in Cairns.
The Eidolonby Libby McGugan
When physicist Robert Strong – newly unemployed and single – is offered a hundred thousand pounds for a week’s work, he’s understandably sceptical. But Victor Amos, head of the mysterious Observation Research Board, has compelling proof that the next round of experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider poses a real threat to the whole… See more details below
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When physicist Robert Strong – newly unemployed and single – is offered a hundred thousand pounds for a week’s work, he’s understandably sceptical. But Victor Amos, head of the mysterious Observation Research Board, has compelling proof that the next round of experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider poses a real threat to the whole world. And he needs Robert to sabotage it.
Robert’s life is falling apart. His work at the Dark Matter Research Laboratory in Middlesbrough was taken away from him; his girlfriend, struggling to cope with the loss of her sister, has left. He returns home to Scotland, seeking sanctuary and rest, and instead starts to question his own sanity as the dead begin appearing to him, in dreams and in waking. Accepting Amos’s offer, Robert flies to Geneva, but as he infiltrates CERN, everything he once understood about reality and science, about the boundary between life and death, changes forever.
Mixing science, philosophy and espionage, Libby McGugan’s stunning debut is a thriller like no other.
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MIXING SCIENCE, MURDER AND ESPIONAGE, Libby McGugan's debut novel "The Eidolon" delivers two hooks I cannot resist: the atom smasher, and evidence of a human afterlife. Add strangelets, stigmery and WIMPS (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles), let the characters marvel at swarm intelligence in bees, and I can emphatically state that this is no run-of-the-mill thriller. McGugan is not only young, she's a violinist, a mountain climber and an emergency physician; she's worked field hospitals in the desert with the Flying Doctors service; for that, I'll forgive plot holes, black holes and whatever lurks between the gaps. Not that the "plot holes" ever mattered much. I watched every season of Dexter in spite of the lamest premises a writer ever dreamed up. I still love and re-watch "The Wizard of Oz," in spite of Glinda the Good Witch telling Dorothy "you wouldn't have believed me" about the red shoes, "you had to find out for yourself." Rubbish. Dorothy would have believed her. But if Glinda hadn't withheld the information, Dorothy would have gone home right away and missed out on all those adventures in Oz. And if we didn't accept a few questionable premises, we wouldn't get to read a gripping story like The Eidolon. The opening scene is exquisitely cold, stark and beautiful. Snow swirls around two men as they near the top of Mt. Everest. The prose is riveting: "I peer up at the faceless ascent and it stares back at me­cold, unmerciful. The fear grips me for a moment. The kind of fear I've read about, when men who undertake this pilgrimage ... realize that they're nobody to the mountain; that it doesn't care if they live or die ... The wind is wailing like a tortured cat ... There's a point when pride needs to step aside for instinct, and it's right here." Huddled in a hole in the snow, Robert takes the reader back in time. Through flashbacks we meet an earlier Robert on his way to work, where he's about to verify his earth-shaking discoveries at the Dark Matter research lab. Like the storm that would keep him from the top of Mt. Everest, a shocking, sudden closing of the lab halts his life's work. Dazed and demoralized, he comes home to find his live-in girlfriend talking to her sister's ghost. Cora always was a New Age mystic sort of gal, but this is more juju than a recently fired physicist can take. Then again, his skepticism is more than a positive thinker like Cora can take, so she leaves him. Jobless and no longer sure of his sanity, Robert is ripe for the recruiting efforts of a scary-mysterious businessman who offers him one hundred thousand pounds for a week's work. The catch? Victor Amos wants Robert to sabotage the famous, fabulous, hugely expensive and important Large Hadron Collider. Amos and his super-secret global guardians are on a mission to protect humanity from its own curiosity. They have compelling "evidence" that CERN's next round of experiments could destroy the world, and only Robert can stop them. He remains skeptical until Amos pulls the last rabbit from his hat, a compelling surprise that induces Robert to accept the job. Anyone who loves physics (and even those who don't) will find much to love in The Eidolon. I'm eager to see Robert doing battle in a dark Edinburgh alley with a Revenant. What's a Revenant? If I get an ARC and you follow this blog, we'll find out before everyone else does.