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After witnessing the horrifying murder of her friend Tom Haley, Mallory Lowe, a cautious university mathematics professor, must emerge from her cocoon to become the gutsy and unpredictable woman she’s always dreamed of being. Running on the guilt of a past family tragedy that she blames on herself, Mallory is determined to find Tom’s now-missing daughter.

Following the clues in a 300-year-old equation left by Tom, Mallory’s search propels her into the tangled threads of a ruthless corporate entity known as Möbius, bent on controlling the world’s most precious resource: fresh water. Mallory is propelled along a perilous journey from the southwest United States through the breathtaking landscape of Switzerland and into the inner workings of a massive hydroelectric dam in Turkey. She solves the riddle of the centuries old mathematics equation—only to discover something more ominous and deadly in the process.

Author Lee Lindauer spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing his latest release, IRRATIONAL FEARS:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Two things:

One, I hope the reader comes away from this novel with a sense of urgency about the importance that water plays in the survival of all life on this planet, especially our dependence on clean, potable water.

Two, empowering women in math and science is one reason I created mathematician Mallory Lowe, my protagonist in IRRATIONAL FEARS. I believe it is way past time women like Mallory receive the same recognition as men, whether in real life or in fiction. The first woman to win the coveted Fields Medal, the highest honor a mathematician can obtain, was Maryam Mirzakhani, who received the award in 2014. Unfortunately, she died in 2017 at age 40. Her passing brings a somber note to the struggles of women in math and science. But it will not end here. This is the beginning. To all the young women aspiring to go into these exciting careers—your time is now.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

I think this novel contributes by my background in engineering. I attempt to bring realistic, well-designed plots and finely-detailed characters in combination with authentic technical and natural settings in order to create a fast-paced emotional rollercoaster ride for the reader.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

I already had an idea that the underlying theme should be about our most precious resource, fresh water, but I was surprised as I did more research how the depletion of this resource is going to be a time-bomb for us as climate change and world disorder continue unabated. Right now, the southwest (where I live) is under extreme to severe drought and the Colorado River Basin (which provides water to 40 million people) is beginning to go onto life-support.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

What the looming threat may be.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Steve Berry, Douglas Preston, Robert Ludlum, Dan Brown and some of the earlier authors like Leon Uris and Ian Fleming.


Lee Lindauer has an MS degree in Structural Engineering and spent over twenty-five years as principal of a consulting engineering firm he founded in Western Colorado. Using his knowledge as an engineer and passion for the world, he constructs problem-solving scenarios in authentic technical and natural settings. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers.

He and his wife Teri divide their time between home base Grand Junction, Colorado and Mesquite, Nevada. To learn more about Lee, please visit his website.