At the start of this intelligent, fast-paced thriller from Shamus Award winner Parks (Say Nothing), Dartmouth librarian Brigid Bronik learns one morning that her physics professor husband, Matt, who specializes in quantum mechanics, has had a seizure. At the hospital, the doctors are unable to determine what’s wrong with Matt, and he’s soon back at work in his lab, where he has been conducting some groundbreaking experiments. Matt’s work has attracted the attention of Sean Plottner, a bored entrepreneur, who’s excited to think Matt is on to something big, something that would make Plottner part of the “story of humanity itself.” During another seizure, Matt disappears. Brigid joins the search for her husband, along with the police and Plottner, who’s not the only one with a nefarious agenda. The disappearance of one of Matt’s coworkers raises the ante. Readers will fully engage with the well-drawn characters as Parks convincingly reveals the science that buttresses the suspenseful plot. Michael Crichton fans won’t want to miss this one. Agent: Alice Martell. Martell Agency. (Sept.)
In this latest tightly bound thriller from Parks (The Last Act), Matthew Bronik, a renowned Dartmouth physicist with a specialty in quantum mechanics, has been suffering from mysterious seizures. His groundbreaking research has drawn the attention of many, including foreign governments and a young millionaire entrepreneur who sees the work as the next step in humanity itself. But when Matthew disappears on the way to the hospital after another seizure, Brigid, his librarian wife, battles sinister forces to track him down. She enlists the help of Matthew's Dartmouth assistant, Sheera, herself entangled with the research, and a gruff local police detective to help provide answers and to bring him home. VERDICT Parks, better known for character-driven mysteries, ventures into Michael Crichton and Blake Crouch territory with a procedural thriller with an sf edge and a ton of heart that leads to an explosive (and emotional) finale. Even though Parks's staccato writing style, where every sentence is a potential paragraph, takes some getting used to, this should satisfy a wide swath of readers.—Gregg Winsor, Johnson Cty. Lib., Overland Park, KS
Parks unfolds a twisty tale about the kidnapping of a Dartmouth physicist whose recondite research has already been stalled by a mysterious malady.
The tobacco mosaic virus, the focus of professor Matt Bronik’s work in quantum interference—the big-picture question of whether “life can go quantum” because scientists can replicate small-scale quantum leaps on unsettlingly larger and larger scales—seems to be affecting him personally. Twice now he’s suddenly blacked out, gone into unexplained comas, and awoken with monster headaches. Has the virus been interfering with him so that his identity has been lost in the universe or merged with his surroundings—for example, with Sheena Aiyagari, the postdoctoral student who tells Detective Emmett Webster that her own mind seems to be merging with Matt’s? Beppe Valentino, his department chair, is worried, and Brigid Bronik, his wife, is frantic. When Matt is felled by a third attack, he’s bundled off to the hospital once more in a grim routine, but this time the ambulance never arrives there, and two of its three staffers are soon found shot dead. A demand for $5 million comes not to Brigid or the Dartmouth lab but to bored billionaire alum Sean Plottner, who’s been trying to get Matt to ditch his job and come work for him. As Webster and Plottner work at cross-purposes to rescue Matt, or to ensure or at least determine that he’s safe, Parks races toward a climax that mercifully leaves the game-changing, larger-than-life questions he’s raised behind.
If it never lives up to its brainy premise, Parks’ suspenseful novel will beguile, entrance, and fool the sharpest readers.
Readers will fully engage with the well-drawn characters as Parks convincingly reveals the science that buttresses the suspenseful plot.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A twisty tale…Parks’ suspenseful novel will beguile, entrance, and fool the sharpest readers.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The mix of science and heart-pounding thrills will have you on the edge of your seat.” —Medium
“Parks is an award-winning novelist with an admitted amateur interest in physics and the talent to craft page-turners. In Interference he takes science out of central casting to fuel an espionage-abduction-virus story that fans of Michael Crichton and Lee Child will ride to the end.” —Mountain Times
“Parks, better known for character-driven mysteries, ventures into Michael Crichton and Blake Crouch territory with a procedural thriller with an SF edge and a ton of heart that leads to an explosive (and emotional) finale.” —Library Journal
“A smart, innovative thriller that evokes the best of Michael Crichton and Blake Crouch. Parks proposes the seemingly improbable, makes it plausible, then weaves in twists and turns, taking the reader on a mind-bending ride.” —Robert Dugoni, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series
“Interference brings all the right ingredients to a novel! Brad Parks has created a story with a fascinating plot line and great characters—an up-all-night page-turner. I loved it!” —Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author
“Utterly absorbing, relentlessly paced, and cunningly assembled. Brad Parks is the sort of master craftsman who makes everything look easy. I hate him a little bit.” —Marcus Sakey, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Afterlife