Killer Nashville Book of the Day

The Flicker Men by Ted Kosmatka / Reviewed by Kevin Tipple


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Ted Kosmatka

Is what we perceive as reality actually real? Is the concept of déjà vu really a glimpse into another version of us elsewhere in time or space? Can the soul of a person be actually measured? Why do civilizations exist? Are those that are considered mad or insane just people who can see and experience another reality? These questions and many more are asked in the intriguing thriller The Flicker Men by Ted Kosmatka.

Eric Argus has followed the path to where madness lies and, for now, is back on the edge of the abyss. He has returned to the Boston area, a shell of himself, where he contemplates suicide by gun and bottle. The bottle is currently winning, as heavy drinking helps with his nightmares. It also helps with the guilt, to a certain extent, as well as with his nerves.

Gradually readers learn that horrible things happened in Indiana just a few months ago. Despite what happened there, an old friend, Jeremy, has hired Eric to work at “Hansen Research”, hoping he will pick up where his research left off. He has four months to produce something of scientific merit. Eric reluctantly takes the job, knowing that, should he fail and become unemployed again with no place to go, there is always the gun.

After reconnecting with people on a daily basis, and occasionally managing to stay sober for a few days at a time, he still does not have a worthy project for those in charge to keep him after the probationary period. Instead of coming up with something new, he wants to reconsider something that was established as fact long ago. Eric has developed a need to duplicate the famous Feynman’s double-slit experiment, and thanks to the sudden arrival of just the right equipment in a batch of scientific gear from a closed lab, Eric will be able to see it with his own eyes.

Although he does not intend to produce new science, Eric Argus’s experiment goes far beyond what researchers have previously attempted or thought, proving that the impossible is true in ways that boggle the mind. His experiment sets off a ripple effect around the globe, causing some to cry that he “broke the world”, and others to look for God and the soul. In the chaos he has unleashed, Eric Argus quickly realizes just how small a cog he is in the machinations of others with competing agendas. Hunted by unthinkably powerful forces he cannot even begin to understand, Eric has literally nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

Award-winning author Ted Kosmatka has created a thriller where science (in the form of quantum mechanics) is a major character. Complex and intriguing, with a science angle that isn’t easy to understand, The Flicker Men is also ultimately a novel of mystery and redemption. In the midst of plenty of science and action, Kosmatka asks the big questions, and explores their impact at the personal level, even if he does not answer them outright. Hard to simplify and explain in a review, The Flicker Men by Ted Kosmatka is a mind-bending thriller that works on all levels, resulting in a very good read.

When not offending someone in person or online due to his strange sense of humor, Kevin Tipple reviews books, watches way too much television, and offers unsolicited opinions on anything. His short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Lynx Eye, Starblade, Show and Tell, and The Writer’s Post Journal among others and online at such places as Mouth Full Of Bullets, Crime And Suspense, Mysterical-e and more. The fact that most of those publications and sites no longer exist is not his fault. Fully trained before marriage, Kevin can work all major appliances and, despite an obsessive love of nearly all sports, is able to clean up after himself.

(If you have a book you would like featured, send an ARC for consideration. The Killer Nashville Book of the Day Reviews are coordinated by Clay Stafford, with the assistance of Maria Giordano, Emily Eytchison, Will Chessor, and credited guest reviewers. For more writer resources, visit us at and

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