There is a divine spark within us all. In one man, that spark is about to explode. American businessman Steve Keeley is hurtled three stories to the cold cobblestone street in Zurich. In the days that follow, a doctor performs miraculous surgery on Keeley, who wakes up to find that everything about his world has changed. He seems to sense things before they happen, and he thinks he's capable of feats that are clearly impossible. it's a strange and compelling new world for him, one he quickly realizes is also incredibly dangerous. Meanwhile at a $12 billion facility in hardscrabble North Texas, a super collider lies two hundred feet beneath the Earth's surface. Leading a team of scientists, Mike McNair, a brilliant physicist, works to uncover one of the universe's greatest secrets a theoretical particle that binds the universe together, often called The God Particle. When his efforts are undermined by the man who has poured his own vast fortune into the project, McNair begins to suspect that something in his research has gone very, very wrong. Now, these two men are about to come together, battling mysteries of science and of the soul-and venturing to a realm beyond reason, beyond faith, perhaps even beyond life and death.
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May 30, 2005
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Excerpt from The God Particle by Richard Cox
Steve isn't stupid.
He can tell by the way she keeps stealing glances at him, by the way she follows everything he says with squeaky titters, by the gradually shrinking perimeter of his personal space this afternoon, that Serena wants him.
He's known about her crush for months. Frequent visits to his office with no real purpose. Hemlines and necklines drifting inexorably toward each other. Projects stretching into evenings, into weekends, into fuzzy, indeterminate hours that find the two of them alone with the soft rumble of the air conditioner and the laboring hip-hop bass signature of her portable CD player. Serena is familiar with her product offering, after all, and she markets it well.
But Steve isn't stupid. He's withstood her voluptuous body and subtle signals because sleeping with his administrative assistant would be more trouble than it's worth, because he's never cheated on a girlfriend in his life. And if Serena has figured this out by now-tomorrow they'll be flying back to L.A. after a full week in Switzerland'it hasn't stopped her from making a last-ditch effort this afternoon.
Which is remarkable, considering that he spent his entire morning searching for an engagement ring. Up and down the sidewalks of the Bahnhofstrasse, beneath the overcast Zurich sky, weaving between men and women dressed in outfits that cost more than Serena makes in a month. Around lunchtime he found a winner, a stunning three-carat solitaire set on a thousand-year-old band forged somewhere in the Alps to the east, a uniquely European item he purchased for just under thirty thousand Swiss francs.
The ring is for his girlfriend, Janine. She'll be waiting for him at LAX in less than twenty-four hours, one expectant face in a field of them beyond the post-9/11 security checkpoint. A smile and a kiss and a seventy-five-minute drive to Valencia. A dip into the Jacuzzi tub with a Sports Illustrated. And a few minutes later she'll bring him a lime-garnished Corona, join him in the tub, and he'll be waiting with the ring..