Book Review: Chaos Theories by Stephen H Banks


Any number of an infinite set of random events can collide into one moment that changes everything forever.

For Jim Parish, that moment came on an ordinary morning like every other morning in a thoroughly ordinary existence, as he was walking to a bus stop on his way to a perfectly ordinary job. A splash from a passing car driving through a puddle soaked his trousers, stopping him in his tracks. He heard a scream from above and looked up.

A jumble of white and blue with flying black hair toppled out of a third floor window, followed by a horrified wail from the woman who lunged out and just missed brushing her fingers against the falling bundle, desperately clutching empty air and leaning out so far that she nearly fell herself. Jim watched with his mouth open; before he could assess the situation he instinctively put his arms out and, to his amazement, caught the child and pulled her safely to his chest.

That one moment in itself would have been enough to shake the foundation of any world, but this was no ordinary girl who had fallen into his life. A chaotic storm swirled around this tiny nucleus, pulling Jim into a highly improbable stream of seemingly random events. He would discover love and fear, hope and terrible loss, and learn the immutable lessons of probability mathematics. The chances of the socially awkward Jim Parish becoming involved with a beautiful PhD, an unusual pair of FBI agents, a mysterious government think-tank, and a vicious serial killer might have seemed impossible; but as Jim learned, any event, however improbable, becomes a near certainty once it has actually occurred.


This is an unusual thriller which explores the chaos theory and is based on mathematical principle. A man with mild OCD who doesn’t relate well to others finds himself in the right place at the right time when he catches a 2 year old girl who falls from a third story window. He becomes involved with the mother and forges a bond with the girl whilst another man on the other side of America goes on a killing spree killing everyone he works with, carving a path of destruction to New Jersey.

Can the FBI save the little girl and her mother from the tragic end that threatens them?

Maya is a very frustrating but mysterious character who doesn’t answer direct questions and gives us many convoluted explanations about probabilities and theoretical mathematics and although I found this thriller quite engaging at times I did wonder if I was reading a text book. However the climatic end to this thriller was worth it and I found the characters quite entertaining too. Vickie Blake was a refreshingly strong female FBI agent who takes no prisoners and her partner Rob Laramie make quite a team. I was a bit frustrated that there combined talents didn’t keep the, ahead of the perpetuator but real life is stranger than fiction.

I do recommend reading this imaginative thriller despite the heavy maths component.


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