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A Hole in Texas by Herman Wouk
A Hole in Texas refers to the Superconducting Super Collider, built (and then shut down) to search for an element of particle physics called the Higgs boson. NASA scientist Guy Carpenter had worked on that project, and as Herman Wouk's novel opens, he has a content life with a wife and baby. When the Chinese announce they've found the Higgs boson, it send shock waves through the US government and scientific community. Could the Chinese control the world with the threat of a boson bomb? Guy is tapped as the expert to get to the bottom of the Chinese claims. It also happens that the Chinese scientist in charge of the boson project is his old love from college, and passion flames between him and the congresswoman he's to work with, and her brother wants to hire him as a consultant for a film about the boson bomb. A Hole in Texas is part thriller, part soap opera and has received mixed reviews. The New York Times says the 88-year old Wouk "spins it into a crackling yarn and writes with an enduring vigor that whippersnappers might envy."