After Sam's mother dies and is cremated, her ashes are stolen. Believing that his father is responsible, Sam pursues the man he has not seen in years. He discovers that he is not the only one searching for his father—federal agents, a disgraced politician, a retired Boston cop, and several journalists join the chase.
“The Invisible World is more than a first-rate political thriller,” says The Boston Globe. “It’s an absorbing tale of alienation and loss, and the ramifications of a rootless, troubled family.” What Sam Adams ultimately discovers is that the shadowy realm of conspiracies conjures a world of hidden truths and intrigue in which the familiar is the most mysterious force of all.
“What if your dad killed JFK and you'd spent your adult life trying to pin the murder on him? Smolens weaves a complex personal tale that examines the terrible impact of an assassin's actions on the family so often left behind…proves achingly compelling.”
“Smolens' sharp views of places like Charlestown and Salem avoid the usual hometown sentimentality, making a nice contrast with the mournful lyric voice he uses for Sam's recollections of his miserable family life.”
—The New York Times
“Smolens’ spare style plays off nicely against the plot, and elaborate tapestry of twists and contradictions.”
“Crafted by a writer who's good at atmospherics.”
“A perfectly-paced thriller that gently pulls you in.”
—The Daily Mirror (UK)
“Beautifully written and absorbing.”
—The Sunday Telegraph (UK)
“This effort, a smoothly efficient amalgam of Salem/Boston atmosphere, the narrator/journalist's midlife crisis, a horribly dysfunctional family that includes a witch/junkie and a dad who—by the way—might have been the triggerman on the JFK assassination, lures you in and snaps like a bear trap”.