Smasher is the story of Silicon Valley and Standford. It's quite a mix of three stories all working together, and linked through the CEO of a telecom firm that's trying to avoid a hostile sale.
The book has an interesting style. It's written with an opening chapter from the middle of the book, where the CEO and his wife are on a morning run, almost run over by a car, but his wife falls into a ditch and is lying unconscious. From there we jump back to days before and then Part II continues on from that opening scene.
It feels as though too many coincidences occur, and too many things line up. The CEO starts at a dedication for a Standford building, named in honor of his dead aunt, who worked as a physics professor there. She wasn't given credit when a novel prize was awarded for the discovery of quarks, but her sister, the CEO's mother, thinks she should have gotten some.
The CEO agrees to investigate, while at the same time trying to fend off a hostile offer to buy the company from the largest telecom in Silicon Valley. Apparently a company that rivals Cisco, who's mentioned in the book. He desperately tries to find ways to raise money as his wife stars her first murder trial as an assistant DA. When the car tries to kill them, he's certain that his wife was the target by the defendant. At the same time, he keeps taking time away from his business struggles to work on his Aunt's mystery.
The story doesn't seem to add up sometimes, and if it's true, CEOs are way overpaid, especially when they disappear for long stretches. There are a few too many things which run together, and there are too many references to the former CEO that disappeared, supposedly after killing the current CEO's wife's sister. It's a tangled web and I felt like some back story was missing at times.
Still it's a fast paced book, and for $0.00 worth the price.