Patricia Cornwell has sold over 100 million books. Her forensic thrillers have turned her into a literary superstar, with a number of her bestselling books hitting both the big and small screens. Known best for her Scarpetta series, she steps into new territory here, as she introduces us to a new series, a new cast of characters, a fabulous new heroine and a very different setting.
On the eve of a top-secret space mission, Captain Calli Chase detects a tripped alarm in the tunnels deep below a NASA research center. A NASA pilot, quantum physicist, and cybercrime investigator, Calli knows that a looming blizzard and government shutdown could provide the perfect cover for a sabotage, with deadly consequences.
As it turns out, the danger is worse than she thought. A spatter of dried blood, a missing security badge, a suspicious suicide — a series of disturbing clues point to Calli’s twin sister, Carme, who’s been MIA for days.
Desperate to halt the countdown to disaster and to clear her sister’s name, Captain Chase digs deep into her vast cybersecurity knowledge and her painful past, probing for answers to her twin’s erratic conduct. As time is running out, she realises that failure means catastrophe — not just for the space program but for the safety of the whole nation.
Quantum is a thrilling read. Written in first person present tense, it is at times quite technical, but even this luddite could follow the storyline thanks to Cornwell’s polished writing and the consummate pacing. It’s obvious Cornwell spends a lot of time researching the science behind her books. A look at her website shows her life-long fascination with a number of scientific areas of study. She doesn’t just research something for a book, but quite the opposite – it appears that her interest in an area of science, and her years of research into it, is actually where the book is born. I feel parts of Quantum were setting up what she intends to be an extensive series, and as the book counts down to its gripping end, you’re absolutely ready to go on that journey.
As much as Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta, from her long-running Scarpetta series, is a fantastic character, it’s refreshing to read a new female lead. Captain Callie Chase is quite a woman – a NASA pilot, quantum physicist and cybercrime investigator. She’s fresh, fierce and really interesting. Carme, her identical twin, is a fighter pilot. Cornwell writes excellent female heroines, always highly intelligent and complex, and here is no different.
Gripping, suspenseful and leaves you wanting more. Book #2 is out in 2020. I can’t wait.
About the author:
Patricia Cornwell has sold over 100 million books. She sold her first novel, Postmortem, while working as a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. Postmortem, was the first bona fide forensic thriller. It paved the way for an explosion of entertainment featuring in all things forensic across film, television and literature. To date, Cornwell’s books have sold some 100 million copies in thirty-six languages in over 120 countries. She’s authored twenty-nine New York Times bestsellers.
When not writing from her Boston home, Patricia tirelessly researches cutting-edge forensic technologies to include in her work. Her interests span outside the literary: Patricia co-founded of the Conservation Scientist Chair at the Harvard University Art Museums. She appears as a forensic consultant on CNN and serves as a member of Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital’s National Council, where she advocates for psychiatric research. She’s helped fund the ICU at Cornell’s Animal Hospital, the scientific study of a Confederate submarine, the archaeological excavation of Jamestown, and a variety of law enforcement charities. Patricia is also committed to funding scholarships and literacy programs. Her advice to aspiring authors: “Start writing. And don’t take no for an answer.”