Three victims, three different states, and three apparently unrelated cases. But when Boulder, Colorado, math professor Jayne Smyers discovers each victim had been an expert in the mathematical field known as fractal geometry, she knows their deaths can't be coincidences.
That's where Pepper Keane comes in. Hired by Jayne after federal agents fail to link the three deaths, he's a former Marine JAG turned private eye, with an encyclopedic knowledge of rock and roll and a trace of existential angst.
From Hawaii to Harvard, Pepper begins a fast-paced journey in search of proof that all the deaths were indeed murders-and were almost certainly committed by the same person. As the evidence mounts, Pepper fears that his favorite math professor may be the next target. But he's failed to do the math completely. As he crosses America in search of clues, he's become the newest expert in the field of fractals. And that makes him more than qualified to die.
An intriguing brainteaser, a fast-paced mystery, and a novel that is at once funny, sexy, and suspenseful, The Fractal Murders proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a pattern to everything. Especially murder.
A fun thriller in a style similar to Robert B Parker, although it does have some weaknesses. On the plus side is an interesting plot - experts in fractal geometry are being killed off at an alarming rate and our hero Pepper Keane is investigating - which gives him, and therefore the reader, the opportunity to learn about fractal geometry...
On the downside...this is a 'guy' book. Pepper Keane is an ex-JAG* and ex-boxer, and staying fit is an important part of his life - but I'm not particularly interested in reading about every detail of his exercise regime ... [and] the female characters are a little one-dimensional...However, very few writers are gifted enough to write a great first novel and Cohen definitely has potential for the future, and in the meantime The Fractal Murders has much to commend it. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Cohen has a gift for making fractals...not only accessible but exciting. And his hunt for the killer...crackles with mounting tension.....Only the gratuitous final twist, which demonstrates mainly that the author's capable of a final twist, spoils the workmanlike geometry.
Booklist - Conne Fletcher
Keane has a past that fleshes out his motivation, a wry wit, and an enemy who does everything to keep him permanently clueless. A consistently absorbing first novel.
Midwest Book Review
An intensely entertaining book that is simply delicious to read.
A surprising premise and an extraordinary theme equal an accomplished debut.
Benoit B. Mandelbrot, Sterling Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Yale University, and founder of fractal geometry
A lively, fast paced, and surprising story woven around my trading time theorem. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to have fun with this.
Stephen White, author of The Best Revenge
This one definitely adds up. The Fractal Murders is witty, smart, and inventive, and Mark Cohen is a terrific new voice on the mystery scene.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Melissa B. It is a good 'read'. A book about geometry teachers being murdered. I am a geometry teacher and couldn't resist taking this book to the beach this summer. I enjoyed the mystery and learned some easier ways to explain fractals to my students at the same time.
The Judge Advocate General's Corps are naval lawyers. The JAGs
were established within the Department of the Navy in 1967 at which time these
specialized military lawyers became a distinct professional group within the
Navy, similar to physicians and chaplains.
Mark Cohen served as a JAG for 20 years. His next book, Bluetick Revenge has just been published.
The Fractal Murders is one of those relatively rare
self-publishing success stories. Mark Cohen
worked with three agents who failed to find a publisher for it,
so in 2002 he published it himself. Two years later he'd sold a few thousand books and
got plenty of word of mouth coverage - at which point Mysterious Press, a division of Warner Books, bought the rights and
Interesting Link: More than you probably want to know about fractals!
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...