Reading Improbable, I found it highly improbable that this could, indeed, be a debut novel. This powerhouse, spellbinding, ingeniously clever novel that combines modern physics, suspense, statistical science and intrigue had me hanging on to the edge of my seat. In fact, you would think it came out of the mind and word processor of an experienced writer with dozens of bestselling books to his credit.
Author Adam Fawer, who studied economics and statistics and has an MBA from Stanford Business School, has written an awesome first novel that combines fast-paced thrills with intricate mathematical theories and well-rounded and truly interesting characters, and the result is Improbable. The story centers on an enigmatic gambling addict named David Caine, who has these inexplicable epileptic seizures that seem to be more than just a medical issue. In fact, they are the doorway to another space/time dimension, so to speak, and they serve as the catalyst that drags Caine into a dark and terrifying world of secret research experiments, mysterious government agencies, unbelievable theories, and the paranormal.
Caine, you see, is more than just a guy with bad headaches – he’s a one-in-a-gazillion human fortunetelling system, wanted by powerful and deadly forces that hope to exploit his amazing ability to see into the future. And when he decides to take part in an experimental study of a new drug, hoping to use the moola to pay off an old gambling debt, things go from bad to worse. Suddenly, David Caine is literally the most wanted human being on earth. Unfortunately, those who want him the most don’t plan on letting him live once they find him.
Filled with mind-boggling concepts of modern quantum physics, statistics, mathematical probabilities and even a dash of metaphysics to boot, Improbable is a wild ride that pushes the proverbial envelope with its haunting characters, including Caine’s twin brother, Jasper, who holds his own in the world of mysterious abilities, and a rogue CIA agent named Nava - a one-woman ass-kicking machine with a heart. The plot is well-developed, with plenty of twists and turns to keep any reader anxious to get to the final scene, and the author’s use of foreshadowing is so right on, he even took me, an avid reader, by surprise with his skill at planting scenes early on that have a huge pay-off down the road.
If you love Dan Brown and Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy and Stephen King and any of today’s finest suspense/thriller/mystery writers who like to take chances, you will love Adam Fawer’s Improbable. It is one of the best debut novels this veteran reviewer has read in a long, long time, and has me already salivating at the thought of the next in a long line of Fawer books to come.