The Cobweb is a novel written by Stephen Bury
, the pen name of well known cyberpunk author Neal Stephenson
and his uncle J. Fredrick George
Clyde Banks is a sheriff in a small Iowa town. He is happily married to Desiree, and has a five month old daughter. His wife, who is in the Army Reserve, is called into the Middle East to assist in a crisis, leaving Clyde to care for their daughter. A few days later, an exchange student is found murdered in a lake, and Clyde investigates. He finds a rather sinister plot by the university where one department uses federal grant money to perform some somewhat shady research for... gasp...Saddam Hussein who Clyde's wife has just gone off to fight... the plot thickens.