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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 Books On Tape, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jim on 07-21-04

A cracking Yarn not a biography!

Previous people reviewing this seemed to have wanted to learn more about Sir Issac Newton. This is a FICTIONAL account of Newton's time at the tower mint, hence not the place to learn the whys and where fors of Newton's life. What you do get is a lively, detailed and enjoyable piece of mystery fiction, with believable well thought out characters and an engaging sense of the period in which it is set (including the coarse language and occasional bawdy sex). I initially feared the author was shoe-horning newton into a sherlock Holmes persona, but this quickly passed and the CHARACTER took on his own shape. If this is not what you want then there are several good biographies in print at the moment, which will save you having to seperate plot device from fact.

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27 of 28 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By carl801 on 08-21-09

Newton Noire

I listened to this novel for two reasons: First, I thoroughly enjoyed Kerr's stories about Bernie Gunther, the Sam Spade of Nazi Germany. And second, John Lee has to be my favorite narrator. His performance here is pitch perfect.

The title "Dark Matter" was well chosen. But beware: this is detective noire set in 17th century London. If you're looking to understand the historical Isaac Newton, look elsewhere. Kerr's Newton seems altogether more modern in may ways than is my understanding of the man.

That said, I like a murder myster with a twist. And that's what you get here.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Mr. P. G. Carroll on 01-02-10


You have to be able to believe that the historical subject matter could be represented by this tawdry and completely unbelievable dross to get any insight or enjoyment and I can not. I stopped reading this nonsense when the completely unsupportable nonsense about the sex life of his niece hove into view. Don’t bother.

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