As I mentioned in my review of David Walton's latest novel, my copies of his quantum physics murder mysteries Superposition and Supersymmetry have been sitting on my "books to read" pile for a long, long time. I've always known that I'll get to them at some point, but there was always another novel/series that got in the way. But The Genius Plague was such a good read that I decided it was high time to read Walton's two science fiction technothrillers.

And Superposition turned out to be another memorable read, so I had no choice but to read its sequel as soon as I finished it.

Here's the blurb:

Jacob Kelley’s family is turned upside down when an old friend turns up, waving a gun and babbling about an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker…apparently murdered the night he appeared at Jacob’s house. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial.

As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter. With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.

As you know, I'm not a big fan of hard science fiction. If the emphasis of a novel is on the science and the technology, the plot often gets beyond me and I lose interest. Quantum physics are the backdrop for everything that has to do with Superposition and I was more than a little concerned about that fact. Having said that, David Walton did a wonderful job dumbing down the science aspect, so to speak. Not only does the author make the jargon and the concepts understandable, but somehow he managed to make it all quite entertaining.

The narrative's structure follows two timelines that will merge toward the end of the book. The first one, "Up-spin", follows the main protagonist, Jacob Kelley, from the moment he received the visit of an old friend and colleague. He hasn't seen Brian Vanderhall in years, and the other appears distraught and keeps talking about quantum intelligences. Things take a turn for the worse and Kelley kicks him out of his house. Little does he know that Vanderhall will later be found dead and he will be accused of the murder. The second timeline, "Down-spin", follows Kelley's trial and reads like a courtroom drama. This structure works surprisingly well. Given the months-long gap between the two timelines, the "Down-spin" chapters fill in the blanks and elaborate on what actually happened and how Jacob Kelley ended up on trial for the death of his former colleague.

Understandably, Jacob Kelley takes center stage in both timelines. But his daughter Alessandra also plays an important role for reasons I cannot explain because it would spoil the story. Kelley's lawyer, Terry Sheppard, and another one of his colleagues, Jean Massey, are interesting secondary characters that make up the supporting cast.

For all that the entire premise has to do with quantum physics, David Walton managed to come up with a plot that's as compelling as it is enjoyable. Never thought quantum mechanics could be fun, but Walton's plot is exactly that. Moreover, the pace is crisp and Superposition is a page-turner. Indeed, both timelines offer plenty of captivating moments. One the one hand, you want to find out if Kelley will be found guilty of murder. And on the other, you want to discover what the hell happened to put him on trial.

Absorbing and engaging, Superposition is a terrific read!

The final verdict: 8/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

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