Title: The Synchronicity Factor
Author: Stephen T Hancock
ISBN: 978 1848746 637
Publisher: Matador / Troubador Publishing
First Published: 2010
Synopsis (from Amazon.co.uk):
Following his wife’s death and his dismissal from the Argento Corporation, micro engineer Dr Andrew King undergoes a mid-life crisis. Driven by unknown forces, he creates a remarkable timepiece of unimaginable beauty. His life begins to change in strange and subtle ways as he discovers that the timepiece, with its powerfully symbolic engravings encapsulates the mysterious principle of Synchronicity
All the online product descriptions I found of Stephen T Hancock’s debut thriller, The Synchronicity Factor, likened it to Dean Koontz and Ian Fleming, which had me worried at such an odd mix, as I love Koontz, but hate Fleming. Fortunately, Hancock seems to have a good handle on the blend and I found his novel rather enjoyable.
It’s a little slow to start, with lots of seemingly unconnected episodes that take some time to come together, but I found myself being drawn into proceedings on an almost unconscious level and I quickly cared for the lead character of Andrew King who is very personable.
With this kind of plot, there’s always a danger that the flow of the story will get bogged down in a lot of technical and/or mystical jargon, but the necessary information is relayed in a natural way so that the revelations are made to both the characters and the reader without it feeling like one is wading through a textbook and being tempted to skip pages to get back to the narrative.
The tension builds slowly and then almost explodes, which leaves the ending feeling just a tiny bit deflated, but not so much that it mars the enjoyment of the novel overall. The concepts are intriguing and the characters are written in such a way that one is never quite sure when someone completely likeable might turn out to have ulterior motives of a darker nature.
This is a very promising start to Hancock’s writing career and I will look forward to reading his future works.
Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite