Verdict: More fun, more silly, and more bizarre than you’d expect for a book about quantum theory.
What would you do if you discovered that you could change reality in more or less any way you saw fit? That’s the situation Madison Martin – protagonist of Lesley L. Smith’s novel THE QUANTUM COP – finds herself in… and she decides to use her powers mostly for summoning free hot beverages. Fair play.
Madison – who has just secured her dream job as a physics professor – discovers the flexible nature of reality in the first few pages of THE QUANTUM COP. It takes her a little longer (and a couple of dodgy physics experiments) to map out the specifics, but before long she realizes that, when certain particular conditions are met, anyone can accomplish anything – from dissolving solid walls, to resolving medical emergencies – just by thinking about it. Dangerous knowledge, she correctly surmises, and promptly fails entirely to keep it to herself. As the secret to tweaking reality spreads like wildfire, Madison is faced with a quantum crime-spree that only she can resolve.
That being the general premise, the story remains surprisingly low-key for most of its length. Madison, initially at least, seems more preoccupied with grabbing lunch, untangling her love life, and ogling the attractive professor in the office next door. That said, it’s never slow, and it’s fun and silly enough to keep you entertained even before you get to the mind-bending climax. Stylistically, it does feel as though it was written by a physicist: the action (when it comes) is a little clunky (“Andro and I ducked for a minute before I gathered my wits enough to stop the furniture mid-air and send it back…“) and the romantic subplot even more so (“My lips were drawn to his as if I was an electron and he was a proton…“). But so long as you don’t take it too seriously you’ll have a great time reading.
The best comparison that can be made is to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. Both are frenetic adventures based around a kernel of factual(ish) information. Both are hardly literature, but are fun to read, somewhat informative, and quirkier than your usual thriller. And both are unashamedly nerdy. If you enjoyed reading about Robert Langdon taking liberties with priceless artworks and historical record, then consider grabbing a copy of THE QUANTUM COP and seeing if science can be just as entertaining.
~Krishan Coupland for IndieReader