“I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.” – William Tecumseh Sherman
“What’s interesting about science is that we’re constantly discovering new things about the universe, about ourselves, about our bodies, about diseases, about the possibilities of the future. It’s amazing. Science is one of the coolest things about being a human being – without a doubt.” – Joe Rogan
Science as war. The scientists vs. the politicians. The scientists vs. the money-grubbers and the illiterate, the vain and the religious. Science has so many battles to fight. And what makes it worse? When politicians are put in charge of science. That, my dears, is war on a global scale. Because those politicians? They are looking for the glory – not for the safety of the scientists. Or even of the world.
The graviton is the prize. The fate of the world may be the cost when a politician trying to hold his position decides that, safety be damned, it is full-bore thirty TeV, the maximum capacity of the Massive Anglo-American Collider, on it’s very first shot at finding the graviton particle. Let’s not listen to Dr. Emily Loughty, the scientific specialist in charge of the multi-billion dollar project. Nope. Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes, there is political gain to be had!
That’s what happens in Down: Pinhole. Henry Quint, director-general of MAAC, in order to gain political clout and keep his job as head of the project, has forced Emily’s second in command to push the collider past the twenty TeV cyclic rate all the way up to thirty – two years ahead of schedule. In one fell swoop, he had thrown safety out the window for the sake of politics.
When the MAAC hits thirty, Emily disappears. Poof, between one nanosecond and the next, she is gone, and a wild man is standing in her place. A man who crashes his way out of the facility, kidnapping and murdering a woman, then going on a rampage of terror across Dartford. And in order to get Emily back, the man has to be tracked down and brought back to the same spot Emily disappeared from. The biggest problem? The man, Brandon Woodbourne, was born 15 November, 1915. He was hung by the neck until dead on the eighth of April, 1949.
“The gates of hell are open night and day;
Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:
But to return, and view the cheerful skies,
In this the task and mighty labor lies.” – Virgil, Aeneid
If Woodbourne is here, then Emily is there, wherever “there” is. And to save her, John Camp, head of Security for the project and Emily’s estranged lover, must travel between space and time in order to find her and bring her back.
What happens next is an amazing tale, dark and brutal, and yet absolutely fascinating, weird and twisted. It was amazing to read about how a collider works. I mean, really think about it. It works using forty thousand tons of liquid nitrogen that cools five hundred tons of helium down to -268.7C. The twenty-five thousand magnets take the temperature to 1.7 K, just barely above absolute zero. Colder than outer space. Magnetic coils wrapped in niobium-titanium filaments seven times thinner than human hairs that would stretch to the sun and back twenty five times. Then? Proton particles circle the one hundred eighty kilometer long tunnel eleven thousand times per second. When the protons collide? Temperatures five hundred thousand times hotter than the center of the sun.
I mean, come on. Who figured that out, anyway??
Getting Emily back, however, will require John’s skills. John, the ex-military sniper, warrior and Krav Maga specialist, will find his skills tested to the maximum as he arrives in a place called only “Down.” Down, eternally populated by those who’ve committed the most unforgivable acts of evil during their lives. Oh, yeah. Hitler is there. But also Caravaggio.* And you know what?
People don’t change. What a surprise.
If you like fantasy, science fiction, adventure, heck, if you are a hard science junkie with a bent for history, you really should read this book. It was, in a word, mesmerizing.
Down: Pinhole is available for free through Kindle Unlimited, or for purchase for $2.99. This is part one of a three part series.
About the Author:
Glenn Cooper is an internationally bestselling thriller writer.
Glenn was born in New York City and grew up in nearby White Plains. He attended White Plains High School before enrolling at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he graduated from Harvard with an honors degree in archaeology. He then attended Tufts University School of Medicine and did his post-doctoral training at the New England Deaconess and the Massachusetts General Hospitals becoming a board-certified specialist in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. After practicing medicine, Glenn began a research career in the pharmaceutical industry which culminated in an eighteen-year position as the Chairman and CEO of a biotechnology company in Massachusetts. Glenn began writing screenplays over twenty years ago and his interest in movies prompted him to attend the graduate program in film production at Boston University. He is currently the chairman of a media company, Lascaux Media, which has produced three independent feature-length films. In 2006 Glenn turned his hand to novel-writing. His debut novel, THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD, the first in a trilogy, became an international bestseller and was translated into thirty languages. All of his seven published books have become top-ten international best-sellers.
Glenn currently lives in New Hampshire.
*Caravaggio was a brilliant painter whose works were much prized by the Catholic Church, and especially by the Pope. However, Caravaggio was a vain, self-centered, violent man who, on May 29, 1606, murdered a young man in a brawl and fled Rome with a price on his head. It didn’t change his ways. After major brawls in 1608 and 1609, a severely injured Caravaggio died in Porto Ercole in Tuscany at 38. His works were hidden away by the church and his name forgotten until the 20th century, when his works were rediscovered. There is no telling what he could have accomplished had he not been a complete and total jackass. What a waste.
** Think what the US lost when the politicians couldn’t quit fighting over where the Massive Collider would be located in the states – so it was moved to London… Politicians. Gack.