Do you remember that fantastic Beatles' song 'With a little help from my friends' and the later cover by Joe Cocker?
Marcus Mansfield and his three MIT fellow may be a good example for this song. Boston is in the middle of a turmoil where a chain of unexplained events are devastating the city. Melted windows, smashed ships with crazy compasses and some other weird things are happening and the population wants to know the reason for all of this... or maybe, as a collective fury and paranoia they only want to find a scapegoat.
"The New York Times had printed a column entitled 'American Science: Is There Such a Thing?'..."
The very recently established MIT looks like a good target for all this and the religion in the city feeds the fire against the science once more in its obscurantist tendency.
The Fantastic Four (Mansfield, Hoyt, Richards and Swallow) will undertake the fight against the clock, the press, the public interest and an evil mind that, as you may imagine, is behind this strange disasters.
... the first stpep is to find out exactly how these two disasters were engineered...
Matthew Pearl has brought excellent novels in the past, such as 'The Dante's Club' and 'The Last Dickens' Manuscript' but definitely 'The Technologists' is the undisputed top of his work so far.
Keep an eye on: the fantastic description of Boston at 19th century. All the political context, press highlights, characters, etc. I haven't ever been in this city and I could swear that, after read 'The Technologists', I had an all inclusive time/panoramic tour there.
For an action thriller, full of science, astonishing description of an era and excellent documented plot, you just need to go to your nearest bookshop and get this book.
A must read.