The Invisible World by John Smolens
A Novel

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Synopsis

Critically acclaimed author John Smolens conjures a world of hidden truths and intrigue in which the familiar is the most mysterious force of all.

For years Samuel Xavier Adams’s father has been a shadow figure in his family’s lives, vanishing and reappearing, keeping a slender connection from afar while his wife and children are haunted by loneliness, his daughter wasted by addictions, and his son, Sam, hounded by his father’s enemies. Sam has spent his life trying to discover what his father, who “worked for the government,” was doing that was worth the family’s ruin. Sam’s insistence on answers and his suspicions of his father’s involvement in the events of November 1963 drew the wrong kind of attention from powerful quarters, scuttling his journalistic career. But at least, Sam believed, he had put his dealings with his father to rest.

Now the older man has resurfaced, has been seen slipping in and out of his wife’s hospital room moments before her death. Her autopsy report is suspicious and her ashes are missing. And Sam is again on his father’s trail, in a high-stakes game of hide-and-seek played out in the dark underworld of Boston’s hushed and foggy roads and waterways. There are other players in the game—many of them figures from the past whose allegiances and motives are tangled and obscure. All are racing toward a deadly reckoning, and for Sam it may be the last chance to solve the puzzle of his life by seeing his father clearly for the first time, before he inevitably vanishes again.
 

About John Smolens

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JOHN SMOLENS is the director of Northern Michigan University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program. He is an acclaimed short story and fiction writer, the author of one collection of stories and three novels. He lives in Marquette, Michigan.
 
Published January 1, 2002 by Hodder & Stoughton. 400 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Invisible World

Kirkus Reviews

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A son wars with his father over his dead mother’s ashes in an edgy, Oedipal thriller.

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The Guardian

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The Invisible World by John Smolens 320pp, Flame, £6.99 With this novel of American paranoia, the two best-known practitioners in that genre - Don DeLillo and James Ellroy - might be justified in wondering if John Smolens is following them.

Jan 25 2003 | Read Full Review of The Invisible World: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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The only sign of hope in Sam's life is Petra, a local journalist whose interest in him begins as curiosity about his father's life and then turns to romance—or does it?

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