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The Return

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


During a live television broadcast on the night of a lunar eclipse, renowned astrophysicist Andrew Leland is suddenly lifted into the sky by a giant spacecraft and taken away for all to see. Six years later, he turns up, wandering in a South American desert, denying ever having been abducted and disappearing from the public eye.

Meanwhile, he inspires legions of cultish devotees, including a young physics graduate student named Shawn Ferris who is obsessed with finding out what really happened to him. When Shawn finally tracks Leland down, he discovers that he’s been on the run for years, continuously hunted by a secret organization that has pursued him across multiple continents, determined to force him into revealing what he knows.

Shawn soon joins Leland on the run. Though Leland is at first reluctant to reveal anything, Shawn will soon learn the truth about his abduction, the real reason for his return, and will find himself caught up in a global conspiracy that puts more than just one planet in danger.

Equal parts science-fiction and globe-hopping thriller, Joseph Helmreich's The Return will appeal to fans of both, and to anyone who has ever wondered... what’s out there?

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 30, 2017 – An artfully crafted opening line ("If the conspiracy theorists are right and it never happened, then the day it didn't happen began innocently enough") paves the way for an intriguing setup in Helmreich's debut novel of humankind's first encounter with alien intelligence. The coinciding of a lunar eclipse with the winter solstice prompted television coverage that inadvertently captured live video of an alien abduction in California. The victim, "washed-up celebrity physicist" Dr. Andrew Leland, who had been retained to provide expert commentary on the celestial event, was seen lifted up into the sky by an unseen force emanating from a green structure. Almost seven years later, Leland is found wandering in a desert, but he denies knowing anything about the abduction, claiming that he retired from scientific research and has spent those years working as a farmhand. Brilliant young physicist Shawn Ferris becomes obsessed with learning the truth about what happened to Leland. The plot takes some clever turns, though the ending doesn't quite live up to the beginning, and Helmreich's characters are satisfyingly multidimensional.

Customer Reviews

A Unique Idea - but....

A creative idea - but not well written. The story jumped to much and there were to many times i asked myself what this chapter had to do with the story until the very end. The conclusion answers less than it reveals.

The Return
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Adventure
  • Published: Mar 14, 2017
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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