A Person of Interest
Susan Choi

Hardcover/356 pages
ISBN: 0670018465
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"Take your time with this one—it’s worth every moment."

A Person of Interest : An existential journey into a culturally and socially isolated mathematician’s soul.

Professor Lee sits stunned on the floor of his tiny departmental office, thrown there by the concussion of a bomb exploding next door in the office of his colleague, math/computer superstar Hendley. With Hendley’s death, Lee is forced to face the demons of his past. He embarks on a trip back through his life that leaves him disoriented and so shell-shocked that his public outrage and maladroit handling of FBI scrutiny puts him at the head of the list of suspects.

Lee’s past comes back to haunt him with a vengeance. He acts guilty, setting the FBI firmly on his trail as he covers up the inconvenient truth with inept lies. Always a bit of a loner, Lee is caught firmly in the crosshairs and doesn’t know which way to turn. He’s alienated from his daughter and harassed by a colleague who Lee wronged by stealing his wife away decades before. He’s faced with his wife’s first child, denied a relationship with his mother because of Lee’s personal issues. But the fun is just beginning. Hendley and several other math and science superstars were targets of the Brain Bomber – and Lee knows who he is.

A Person of Interest is not the kind of book to be read at one sitting – or ten. It offers a slow, methodical detailing of a lonely misfit out of touch with the world and the most important people in his life. Lee is an oriental mystery to his colleagues, his deceased wife and his alienated daughter. He is crippled by his silence and preoccupied by his past. Susan Choi’s prose is lush and meticulous and should be read slowly like a fine gourmet meal in order to absorb and enjoy every crumb and nuance. The characters are surprising in their complexity; the story believable. Take your time with this one—it’s worth every moment.

Reviewer: J.M. Cornwell