Particle physicist Dr. Fin Canty, finds his faith and assumptions of reality challenged after his wife’s death and his own murder. Through seemingly random interactions between socially diametric cultures, science and religion collide for the living as well as in the afterlife to produce answers to our most lasting scientific and philosophical questions. What is dark matter? Are we alone? In an saga that spans continents as well as planes of existence, one man’s will conquers all to reunite his family and give the world proof of the afterlife.
Fin Canty is struggling to raise his three year-old daughter, Eva, after the untimely death of his wife. Seeking spiritual guidance from long time friend Father Moriel, Fin is unable to reconcile his faith with his scientific beliefs. At a time when his sadness and doubt are at their greatest, Fin receives a phone call from his mentor, Dr. Edvard Krunowski. Edvard, now the director of Europe’s preeminent particle physics lab at CERN, tells Fin of an unexpected breakthrough at the Large Hadron Collider. Fin agrees to take a sabbatical and join Edvard in Geneva to explore what may prove to be a discovery of the greatest theological magnitude: the creation of matter from nothing.
On the eve of his departure, a Salvadorian gang, MS-13, with contract paid for with Vatican money, mistakenly targets Fin and Eva. Salvador, the gang’s financial officer, flees to Mexico in Fin’s car, desperately attempting to escape gang life.
In a series of unexpected twists, Salvador sacrifices his soul in Fin’s stead, fulfilling his promise to protect Eva. As the destroyer becomes the savior and the pious are exposed as sinners, Fin’s journey to rescue his daughter will reveal the true power of human will and restore faith to the world.
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About the Author
Military trained in Emergency Medicine, Hejmanowski began his carreer as a flight surgeon and served with both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. He began writing this novel during residency with the United States Navy, and through several military moves. It was during his most recent deployment with the U.S. Marines to Iraq when he was able to complete Collider.
Chris Hejmanowski is currently a practicing emergency room physician in the Southeastern United States. He spends his off time woodworking, and restoring classic cars. His second novel, Jesus Rock, is forthcoming in 2013. His profile can be found on LinkedIn and on his website: www.ChrisHejmanowski.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Hejmanowski tried to do too much, to cover too broad a range of ideas under one fiction cover. I can see the broad vision, however, for me he didn't quite pull it off. Collider is well written, exciting, and difficult to put down, and yet it doesn't quite all fit together. For me the two stories, one in the physical life we live, and one set beyond, should be two different books. The science and the true-to-life drama easily stretch into metaphysical speculation, and the afterlife reaches back into life well enough, but the wall between them is less than convincing jumped. I may well read this book again in a couple of months, and if that helps me climb the wall I shall change this review. It is possible that I was guilty of not reading accurately enough to catch all the joins. I would certainly enjoy reading this book again, being excited once more by the skillfully crafted characters. I really don't want to put people off reading Collider as it says so much so well; however, be prepared for being drawn across the seam. This is a harsh book in the sense of the emotion and the violence it conjures, and yet it is also one so full of hope, as it brings together medieval ideas of purgatory and the punishment of sin, our modern society, and the direction of modern science. I felt that Hejmanowski dug deep into himself in painting this mix of speculative science and equally speculative philosophy. At first, some of the violence seems gratuitous. It isn't. The violence of human life, so starkly drawn, is simply a deliberate attempt to create the feeling that there is no sense at all unless there is an underlying pattern; some meaning, behind the randomness and unpredictability of our often harsh lives. The writing itself is deserving of fulsome praise, as do the divided parts of the full story. I love the way that Hejmanowski tries to reconnect the physical and metaphysical for the modern, critical reader. There always was a connection before we arrived in the "brave new world" of the 20th Century, before science "proved" so much. The philosophies of beyond life sat easier in the mind until modern physics started to redefine the apparently rational. Will the future draw these dimensions together again? The meaning of life can sound too much like a trite sound bite, so it is perhaps healthy that we have modern fiction writers that are prepared attack the subject head on. This book, this for me is a must read, takes on so much so well. Possibly its very width was sure to make some transitions bumpy. Perhaps Hejmanowski made the transition to the afterlife less than smooth for a very simple, deliberately emphasized, reason; for so is the transition we know as death. Am I making too much of this book by categorizing it as top quality speculative fiction? Read Collider, and see what you think. Even if it unfolds to you as nothing more than entertaining, escapist fiction, it is certainly exciting.
This was a fast read. Fin was a character that you can easily relate to. The love for his daughter and their seperation kept you rooting for her to remain safe, until her dad could return! Although a few parts were over my head with detail in regards to CERN, it all came together in the end.