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Dark Matter: A Mind-Blowing Twisted Thriller by [Blake Crouch]

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Dark Matter: A Mind-Blowing Twisted Thriller Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 17,707 ratings

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Review

Brilliant. A book to remember. I think Blake Crouch just invented something new - Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series                     

 

It's been a long time since a novel sucked me in and kept me turning pages the way this one did. Exceptional - Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian                        

 

A masterful, truly original work of suspense. Crouch delivers laser-focused prose . . . and a touching, twisted love story that plays out in ways you'll never see coming - Harlan Coben                        

 

Wow. I gulped down Dark Matter in one sitting and put it down awed and amazed by the ride. It's fast, smart, addictive - and the most creative, head-spinning novel I've read in ages - Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Gravity                            

 

It also might be the most helter-skelter, race-to-the-finish-line thriller you'll read all year - Observer                       

 

Terse prose, strong characterisation and clever twists make for a quick, smart, engrossing read - Financial Times                               

 

Blake Crouch's Dark Matter is a mind-bending thriller of the first order, not merely a rollicking entertainment but a provocative investigation into the nature of second chances. I dare you to put it down, because I sure couldn't - Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of The Passage Trilogy                

 

Dark Matter is the kind of book the word "thriller" was coined for - it's a shooting star through multiple genres, posing fundamental questions about identity and reality before revealing itself as, at its core, a love story - Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Guilty Minds and Suspicion                              

 

An addictive read! You're in for an intelligent, breath-taking ride - John Lescroat, New York Times bestselling author of The Fall                          

 

A mind-blowing sci-fi/suspense/love-story mash-up - Entertainment Weekly                     

 

Excellent characterization and well-crafted tension . . . the rousing and heartfelt ending will leave readers cheering - Publishers Weekly                           

 

Suspenseful, frightening, and sometimes poignant - Kirkus         

 

Crouch keeps the pace swift and the twists exciting. Readers who liked his Wayward Pines trilogy will probably devour this speculative thriller in one sitting [as will] those who enjoy roller-coaster reads in the vein of Harlan Coben - Booklist

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***

Copyright © 2016 Blake Crouch

I love Thursday nights.

They have a feel to them that's outside of time.

It's our tradition, just the three of us'family night.

My son, Charlie, is sitting at the table, drawing on a sketch pad. He's almost fifteen. The kid grew two inches over the summer, and he's as tall as I am now.

I turn away from the onion I'm julienning, ask, 'Can I see?"

He holds up the pad, shows me a mountain range that looks like something on another planet.

I say, 'Love that. Just for fun?' 'Class project. Due tomorrow."

'then get back to it, Mr. Last Minute."

Standing happy and slightly drunk in my kitchen, I'm unaware that tonight is the end of all of this. The end of everything I know, everything I love.

No one tells you it's all about to change, to be taken away. There's no proximity alert, no indication that you're standing on the precipice. And maybe that's what makes tragedy so tragic. Not just what happens, but how it happens: a sucker punch that comes at you out of nowhere, when you're least expecting. No time to flinch or brace.

The track lights shine on the surface of my wine, and the onion is beginning to sting my eyes. Thelonius Monk spins on the old turntable in the den. There's a richness to the analog recording I can never get enough of, especially the crackle of static between tracks. The den is filled with stacks and stacks of rare vinyl that I keep telling myself I'll get around to organizing one of these days.

My wife, Daniela, sits on the kitchen island, swirling her almost­ empty wineglass in one hand and holding her phone in the other. She feels my stare and grins without looking up from the screen.

"I know," she says. "I'm violating the cardinal rule of family night."

"What's so important?" I ask.

She levels her dark, Spanish eyes on mine. "Nothing."

I walk over to her, take the phone gently out of her hand, and set it on the countertop.

"You could start the pasta," I say.

"I prefer to watch you cook."

"Yeah?" Quieter: "Turns you on, huh?"

"No, it's just more fun to drink and do nothing."

Her breath is wine-sweet, and she has one of those smiles that seem architecturally impossible. It still slays me.

I polish off my glass. "We should open more wine, right?"

"It would be stupid not to."

As I liberate the cork from a new bottle, she picks her phone back up and shows me the screen. "I was reading Chicago Magazine's re­ view of Marsha Altman's show."

"Were they kind?"

"Yeah, it's basically a love letter." "Good for her."

"I always thought ..." She lets the sentence die, but I know where it was headed. Fifteen years ago, before we met, Daniela was a comer to Chicago's art scene. She had a studio in Bucktown, showed her work in a half dozen galleries, and had just lined up her first solo exhibition in New York. Then came life. Me. Charlie. A bout of crippling post­ partum depression.

Derailment.

Now she teaches private art lessons to middle-grade students.

"It's not that I'm not happy for her. I mean, she's brilliant, she de­serves it all."

I say, "If it makes you feel any better, Ryan Holder just won the Pavia Prize."

"What's that?"

''A multidisciplinary award given for achievements in the life and physical sciences. Ryan won for his work in neuroscience."

"Is it a big deal?"

"Million dollars. Accolades. Opens the floodgates to grant money."

"Hotter TA's?"

"Obviously, that's the real prize. He invited me to a little informal celebration tonight, but I passed."

"Why?"

"Because ifs our night."

"You should go."

"I'd really rather not."

Daniela lifts her empty glass. "So what you're saying is, we both have good reason to drink a lot of wine tonight."

I kiss her, and then pour generously from the newly opened bottle.

"You could've won that prize," Daniela says.

"You could've owned this city's art scene."

"But we did this." She gestures at the high-ceilinged expanse of our brownstone. I bought it pre-Daniela with an inheritance. ''And we did that," she says, pointing to Charlie as he sketches with a beau­ tiful intensity that reminds me of Daniela when she's absorbed in a painting.

It's a strange thing being the parent of a teenager. One thing to raise a little boy, another entirely when a person on the brink of adult­ hood looks to you for wisdom. I feel like I have little to give. I know there are fathers who see the world a certain way, with clarity and confidence, who know just what to say to their sons and daughters. But I'm not one of them. The older I get, the less I understand. I love my son. He means everything to me. And yet, I can't escape the feel­ing that I'm failing him. Sending him off to the wolves with nothing but the crumbs of my uncertain perspective.

I move to the cabinet beside the sink, open it, and start hunting for a box of fettuccine.

Daniela turns to Charlie, says, "Your father could have won the Nobel."

I laugh. "That's possibly an exaggeration."

"Charlie, don't be fooled. He's a genius."

"You're sweet," I say. "And a little drunk."

"It's true, and you know it. Science is less advanced because you love your family."

I can only smile. When Daniela drinks, three things happen: her native accent begins to bleed through, she becomes belligerently kind, and she tends toward hyperbole.

"Your father said to me one night-never forget it-that pure re­ search is life-consuming. He said ... " For a moment, and to my sur­prise, emotion overtakes her. Her eyes mist, and she shakes her head like she always does when she's about to cry. At the last second, she rallies, pushes through. "He said, 'Daniela, on my deathbed I would rather have memories of you than of a cold, sterile lab.'"

I look at Charlie, catch him rolling his eyes as he sketches. Probably embarrassed by our display of parental melodrama.

I stare into the cabinet and wait for the ache in my throat to go away.

When it does, I grab the pasta and close the door.

Daniela drinks her wine.

Charlie draws.

The moment passes.

"Where's Ryan's party?" Daniela asks.

"Village Tap."

"That's your bar, Jason."

"So?"

She comes over, takes the box of pasta out of my hand.

"Go have a drink with your old college buddy. Tell him you're proud of him. Head held high. Tell him I said congrats."

"I will not tell him you said congrats."

"Why?"

"He has a thing for you."

"Stop it."

"It's true. From way back. From our roommate days. Remember the last Christmas party? He kept trying to trick you into standing under the mistletoe with him?"

She just laughs, says, "Dinner will be on the table by the time you get home."

"Which means I should be back here in ..."

"Forty-five minutes."

"What would I be without you?" She kisses me.

"Let's not even think about it."

I grab my keys and wallet from the ceramic dish beside the micro­ wave and move into the dining room, my gaze alighting on the tes­seract chandelier above the dinner table. Daniela gave it to me for our tenth wedding anniversary. Best gift ever.

As I reach the front door, Daniela shouts, "Return bearing ice cream!"

"Mint chocolate chip!" Charlie says. I lift my arm, raise my thumb.

I don't look back.

I don't say goodbye.

And this moment slips past unnoticed.

The end of everything I know, everything I love.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B019IO6BU6
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Macmillan; Main Market edition (11 Aug. 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2319 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 353 pages
  • Customer reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 17,707 ratings

About the author

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Blake Crouch is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. His novels include the New York Times bestseller Dark Matter, and the internationally bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, which was adapted into a television series for FOX. Crouch also created the TNT show Good Behavior, based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. His latest book is Recursion, a sci-fi thriller about memory, and will be published in June 2019. He lives in Colorado.

To learn more about what he is doing, check out his website, www.blakecrouch.com, follow him on Twitter - @blakecrouch1 - or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/blakecrouchauthor

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