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Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton | [Philip Kerr]

Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton

Skillfully weaving history with mystery, Philip Kerr sets this thrilling story in the 1696 Tower of London, where Sir Isaac Newton, warden of the Royal Mint (a post he actually held), and his apprentice Christopher Ellis (also a real person) track down a counterfeiting ring and, as the body count increases, a murderer. "An illuminating, often crackling exploration into the mysteries of science, mathematics, religion, and human nature," raves Booklist in a starred review.
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Publisher's Summary

In 1696, young Christopher Ellis is sent to the Tower of London, but not as a prisoner. Though Ellis is notoriously hotheaded and was caught fighting an illegal duel, he arrives at the Tower as assistant to the renowned scientist Sir Isaac Newton. Newton has accepted an appointment from the King of England and Parliament to investigate and prosecute counterfeiters whose false coins threaten to bring down the shaky, war-weakened economy. Ellis may lack Newton's scholarly mind, but he is quick with a pistol and proves himself to be an invaluable sidekick and devoted apprentice to Newton.

While Newton and Ellis investigate a counterfeiting ring, they come upon a mysterious coded message on the body of a man killed in the Lion Tower. Despite Newton's formidable intellect, he is unable to decipher the cryptic message or any of the others he and Ellis find as the body count increases within the Tower complex. As they are drawn into a wild pursuit of the counterfeiters that takes them from the madhouse of Bedlam to the squalid confines of Newgate prison and back to the Tower itself, Newton and Ellis discover that the counterfeiting is only a small part of a larger, more dangerous plot, one that threatens much more than the collapse of the economy.

©2002 Philip Kerr; (P)2002 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

"An illuminating, often crackling exploration into the mysteries of science, mathematics, religion, and human nature." (Booklist, Starred Review)
"The ever-versatile Kerr...weaves a rich tapestry of interesting characters and period details. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"A most gripping and well-appointed entertainment." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Jeff Parent 05-16-03
    Jeff Parent 05-16-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Historical Fiction"

    The story takes place in late 17th century London during the part of Newton's career spent at the Royal Mint. Christopher Ellis is sent to assist Dr. Isaac Newton in his investigations of counterfitters whose operations threaten to bring down a war-weakened economy of England.

    The pair of Ellis and Newton almost seem like Holmes and Watson as the book tours through religious history and prejudices to catch the couterfitters who are committing murder in the Tower of London. The author presents a detailed look at what Isaac Newton might have been like while combining this profile within mystery and history set in this novel that is ripe with the names of Newton's famous contemporaries.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was meticulously researched to the point that I had a hard time telling where the fiction began and reality ended. As a nice finishing touch, the book has a light sprinkling of humor in it which will catch you by surprise and leave you delighted.

    Enjoy.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kasey 02-12-03
    Kasey 02-12-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book"

    The book was very fast paced and engaging. I definetly recommend it to anyone who reads historical fiction or murder mysteries.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Constance S. Edwards Lafayette, CO United States 09-07-04
    Constance S. Edwards Lafayette, CO United States 09-07-04 Member Since 2003

    constanceedwards

    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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    "Well done for an abridgment"

    This is the only abridgment that I own from Audible, and it was a mistake. I'd planned to purchase the full version. I'm not unhappy that I bought the abridgment; this is very well done. However, if you have the option, the unabridged version is far superior. There's a sense of things missing in an abridged version, even if the story is complete.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Loewenstern Colorado 07-05-03
    Karen Loewenstern Colorado 07-05-03 Member Since 2003

    Friend of Woz

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    "A reallly good read (listen)"

    I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't wait to get back to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette NorthamptonUnited Kingdom 05-16-03
    Jeanette NorthamptonUnited Kingdom 05-16-03 Member Since 2001
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    "Bloody Marvellous"

    Kept me gripped all the way through. The authentic reading and language used takes you back to 17th England and a side to Issac Newton I never knew existed.
    Great Read -

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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