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I encountered this science fiction novel in the early 90s (1998 at the latest) but I only got to read the first few chapters of the novel and I have gone crazy looking for it ever since.

The story starts with a suspenseful dramatic chase in a deserted urban cityscape, deep into the dark night, where a man is running on foot and he is being followed by a bunch of people. No idea who they are or why they are chasing him. Slowly we learn that the protagonist is having trouble running because his feet are backwards, meaning that his toes point to the rear, and he has other physical deformities (like something wrong with his hands or fingers, etc). Then we find out that these physical deformities are a result of time travel. The protagonist considers his deformities a punishment for using/abusing the time machine.

Then there is a flashback and the the protagonist is a perfectly normal scientist/grad-student working in a lab and the story begins of how he came-across/built/discovered the device. I have no idea of how he used it and what he "did" to "deserve" his punishment. The machine may have belonged to his boss/senior-scientist at the lab and I think he stole the machine and/or illicitly used it for personal gain, hence the guilt of the protagonist. There is also a hint of the time-machine working on the same principles as the star-trek transporter where matter is disassembled and then reassembled, hence why his body was deformed after using the time machine. I think the machine wasn't perfected and the protagonist didn't know or knew but didn't care and used the machine anyway. The story seems to take place in contemporary times, not the future or anything.

Does anybody know what is the name of this scifi story? I am 99% sure that English was its original publication language but there is a very tiny chance that it may have been translated from French, Russian, or another European language.

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