In this "marvel of moving parts [with] all the twists and turns a mystery lover could ask for" (Washington Post), the author of The Dante Club and The Poe Shadow takes us back to the spring of 1868 in the halls of the newly founded Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Boston is being terrorized by unnatural disasters: first a magnetic storm causes ships in the harbor to collide and burst into flames; then on State Street, all the glass in the financial district, from windows to eyeglasses, suddenly melts. Four brilliant students—Civil War veteran Marcus Mansfield, brash Bob Richards, meticulous Edwin Hoyt, and eccentric but gifted Ellen Swallow, the first woman at MIT—set out to discover the mastermind behind these technological attacks and stop him before he can strike again.
"A terrific historical mystery in the fine old Arthur Conan Doyle style…. There are cliffhanger endings and fortuitous escapes … even a couple of very sweet romances."—Globe and Mail