Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is what Wilson does best: the impossible happens, some stunning scientific mystery that no one understands, which dramatically affects the lives of his characters. In Darwinia and Spin, the mystery affected the whole world (Europe, Africa, and Asia are replaced; the stars disappear). In Blind Lake, the effects are more local, when a scientific community is suddenly quarantined, their outside communications cut off, and their facility guarded by military drones who kill anyone who tries to leave. And they have no idea why.
The tensions caused by this mysterious quarantine erode the normal controls of polite society and reveal the characters as they really are: selfish or selfless, compassionate or borderline psychotic. The book started a bit slow, as the characters were introduced and the situation was set up, but once they were quarantined, the suspense really increased right through to the end. Wilson gradually reveals his secrets in generous handfuls along the way, until the final reveal, when everything is explained in typically weird and beautiful Wilson style.