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Cold Dark Matter: A Morgan O'Brien Mystery Paperback – Apr 1 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn; PB edition (April 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550024949
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550024944
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 11.1 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #626,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Paperback
Hawaii, astronomy, and the Canadian government are three things most Canadians know a little something about. What they and other mystery readers might not know can be found in the pages of Alex Brett's engrossing novel, Cold Dark Matter. Ottawa-based Morgan O'Brien, investigator for the National Council for Science and Technology, is asked by her colleague and friend, Duncan, to retrieve the research diaries of an astronomer who apparently committed suicide while working in Hawaii. Morgan's questions about the suicide and the diaries' content lead her into a labyrinth of secrets, betrayals, and cover-ups stretching back to the Cold War era. Among the many appealing aspects of this book are vivid descriptions of a Hawaii I thought I knew, insight into the competitive world of astronomers, and revelation about a horrific and unfortunately true event in Canadian government history. You'll have to read the book to learn what the government's shameful Fruit Machine was because if I told you, you'd never believe me. Read the book. It's a great story.
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By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 17 2011
Format: Paperback
"Cold Dark Matter", by Alex Brett, is the second in a series featuring Morgan O'Brien, an Ottawa investigator who is attached to the Canadian National Council for Science and Technology, whose usual beat is fraud investigation. But she's asked, by her old boss Duncan, who is himself in a precarious state concerning custody of his two children some years after a divorce when his ex-wife begins to demand custodial rights, to look into the apparent suicide of a Canadian astronomer who is working at a world-class telescope in Hawaii; the astronomer's diaries are missing, and something just doesn't feel right to Duncan. So in good faith, and with little information, Morgan flies out to Hilo and finds that things are far more mysterious than they already seem: the suicide is actually murder, there are dark forces working against her, and there's an extremely fit and good-looking cop who might help her or might shove her into jail. When more bodies appear, and more mystery looms, Morgan makes her way back to Ottawa, where the Cold War past holds clues to all the mysteries, if she can live long enough to figure them out.... I liked this book; it doesn't talk down to readers, assumes a certain level of scientific awareness but doesn't assume that every reader will understand the finer points of astronomy; it also makes a point of the often-overlooked fact that 1960s Cold War mentality, beyond the capitalism/communism schism, included the concept that male homosexuality was criminal and usable as a means to force people to give secret information to the enemy and *was* used in that way (lesbianism was barely on the radar then, because of course then women had almost no power that could be exploited in the same way).Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This novel was a disappointment; it received rave reviews from The Global And Mail and mystery-related publications, so I had high hopes, and with its science theme (astronomy) I had to give it a try. It's about the mystery behind the death of a Canadian astronomer in Hawaii. The protagonist is sent from Canada to investigate it, and she discovers there are a lot of politics and intrigue behind why he died.
I stopped reading it about half the way through; it bored me. I didn't care about the mystery. The characters seemed superficial and contrived, and the story was getting silly, with too much spy-like events occuring to be credible.
The Canadian author received rave reviews for their first book, Dead Water Creek, but I have my doubts about it now if it's anything like this one.
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By John Egbe on May 23 2005
Format: Paperback
A beautifully written book with great characters, spectacular setting, quick pace and amazing plot that will keep you trapped until the last page. Recommended with Seventh Deadly Sin, Triple Agent Double Cross, Disciples of Fortune as far-reaching books to captivate the mind of a reader.
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Format: Paperback
COLD DARK MATTER
Alex Brett made an auspicious appearance two years ago on the Canadian mystery-writing scene with her first Morgan O'Brien Mystery, Dead Water Creek, a book that Margaret Cannon of The Globe and Mail called "an excellent debut novel". And it was. Now she has returned with the second novel in the series, Cold Dark Matter. And once more, Brett's grasp of complex scientific issues, and her ability to explain them to the lay reader, comes to the fore. In Dead Water Creek the subject was salmon research, and the complex and interesting people who carry it out. In Cold Dark Matter, as the title and the cover illustration suggest, the scientific issue under the microscope (or telescope) is astronomy. And Brett does tell the reader a lot about astronomy, the technology involved, and the people who pursue that discipline. But, as in Dead Water Creek, the real story is about the lives of the people involved.
And there is also a fascinating and insightful description and discussion of another, equally important, scientific issue that for a time captured the interest of the Canadian federal government, an interest lodged in the near-paranoia that gripped Canada and the United States both in the Cold War era. The world knows only too well about the horrors of the political and social witch hunts in the United States in what is usually referred to as the "McCarthy Era". I think many readers in Canada will be surprised to learn that Canada had its own "witch hunt", in which careers and lives were destroyed. It was, in essence, a shameful example of the perversion of science, supposedly in the interests of national security, and it was funded by the federal government.
But a mystery novel will not fly on the wings of scientific and social issues alone.
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