The Doomsday Equation
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author of A Deadly Wandering comes a pulse-pounding technological thriller—as ingenious as the works of Michael Crichton and as urgent and irresistible as an episode of 24—in which one man has three days to prevent annihilation: the outbreak of World War III.
Computer genius Jeremy Stillwater has designed a machine that can predict global conflicts and ultimately head them off. But he’s a stubborn guy, very sure of his own genius, and has wound up making enemies, and even seen his brilliant invention discredited.
There’s nowhere for him to turn when the most remarkable thing happens: his computer beeps with warning that the outbreak of World War III is imminent, three days and counting.
Alone, armed with nothing but his own ingenuity, he embarks on quest to find the mysterious and powerful nemesis determined to destroy mankind. But enemies lurk in the shadows waiting to strike. Could they have figured out how to use Jeremy, and his invention, for their own evil ends?
Before he can save billions of lives, Jeremy has to figure out how to save his own. . . .
In the tantalizing prologue of this technological thriller from Richtel (The Cloud), a woman uncages a zoo lion for an unknown reason. Meanwhile in San Francisco, Jeremy Stillwater has developed a mind-blowing algorithm that harnesses big data to predict large-scale human conflict. Stillwater's formula blends disparate pieces of information on "oil and food prices, temperature and tides, population density, migrations from rural areas and back," and much more. His work is put on hold when his program predicts that the world will end in less than three days, sending him on a frantic search to verify the data, identify the specific threat, and attempt to forestall it. Richtel does a nice job of making Stillwater less than likable, but after the engrossing setup, the bulk of the book feels more like a cookie-cutter, race-the-clock suspense novel than something new.
I skipped a lot of the book. Way too much description of scenery, walking.