John Robert Marlow. Nano (2004) 381 pp.
During a press conference an assassin kills multibillionaire Mitchell Swain just prior to his announcing an incredible technological-scientific breakthrough that allegedly will change humanity forever. Technology reporter Jennifer Rayne sees the murder first hand. She investigates the murder to learn what Swain was about to reveal. Jenniferís inquiries take her to a weird recluse, scientific inventor John Marrek, who quietly received funding for his projects from the dead Swain. However, others, including the government, follow the same clues that led Jennifer to Marrek. These groups want the journalist dead and the recluse captured or dead. However, Marrek uses his invention, a self-replicating nanotechnologically-based machine that destroys his foes on the molecular level. As Marrek and Jennifer flee, the government follows. They want to use his invention as the ultimate weapon while he wants to help mankind. Marrek and the government eventually face off in the Bay Area, with the city of San Francisco caught in the crossfire.