The idea of a hidden Einstein Theory of Everything is a wonderful premise. And there are definitely things to like about this book. The writing is more than adequate from a style perspective; not great, but very good. Alpert does a little too much spoon feeding (telling the reader things that are blatantly obvious, as if the reader isn't smart enough to figure it out), but not enough to make the writing itself unpleasant. He also did an admirable job of working in twists that are so important to a story like this. The pacing was good, and the science was very nicely incorporated with a minimum of info-dumping. Then there are the problems...
It frustrates me to no end when an author won't do even the tiniest bit of research in order to get the details right on issues they know nothing about. For example, a character engages the safety on their revolver. Puh-leeze. Revolvers don't have safeties. (The only revolver that has a safety is an old western style single-action, definitely not the thing you tuck into the small of your back as did the character.) Things go from bad to worse when he approaches the issue of computers. A character "smashes" a computer on the floor and, voila, we have parts everywhere. Among these parts, he is able to spot the hard drive because it looks like a turntable with glass platters. He of course proceeds to smash the platters into tiny shards. Good grief. It takes five seconds on Google to see what a hard drive looks like. Or hey, walk into any computer store and ask them to let you hold one. Then get back to me on whether you saw platters and were able to "smash" them. Every time an author does something like this, it yanks you out of the story and it takes time to reestablish the immersion. I find this way too often with authors who obviously have zero understanding of things of the real world, whether the topic is cars, guns, computers, etc. It's frustrating, and so easily avoidable.
The more troubling issue with the book is the ultra-poor character development, both on the micro and macro levels. On the micro level, there's just little there to make one bond with the individual characters. They're stereotypical and wooden. On the macro level, the evil government is after the poor innocent little people while an evil Master Killer stalks them, as well. Yawn.
Finally, although it contributed absolutely nothing to the story, the author had to take time to inject his liberal politics. The evil vice-president with a crooked smile has to run the country for the "boob" from Texas. Again, yawn. Maybe the author found this cathartic, but it's an incredibly stupid thing to do in a book that has nothing to do with politics. By including elements like this, he added nothing to the story, but did manage to insult any conservative who happened to have bought and read his book. Nothing quite so smart as alienating half your potential market for no reason other than your own need to "vent."
All in all, it was a first book that had vast potential but in the end fell way short of the mark. Perhaps the author will read some of these reviews and take them to heart. Or perhaps not.