Jason Dessen has just left a bar where he’s congratulated a College roommate on winning a prestigious Scientific prize, one he probably could have won if he had devoted the past 15 years of his life entirely to his scientific research, rather than getting married and raising a son and only teaching college. Walking home, he’s ambushed and kidnapped by a masked man who takes him to an abandoned warehouse and injects him with a strange drug. When Jason wakes up, he’s strapped to a gurney, being told “welcome back” and getting asked a lot of questions by people who seem to know him but who are complete strangers. And the longer he’s awake, the more confusing things get: Somehow, lots of things aren’t quite right. His house is still his house, but it’s very different inside, and there’s no trace of his wife or his son. And he learns that he’s won the prestigious Pavia Prize for his breakthrough scientific work.
Adding to the shock of the differing details of his life and the pain of missing his family, Jason isn’t safe. He doesn’t know whom to trust, and shady characters are after him even now. But he decides that he will start solving this problem one step at a time. Like a scientist. And he will find his family and reclaim his life.
Dark Matter is an entertaining thriller based on principles and theories in quantum physics. That kind of setup is always sure to pique my interest. I’ve read a number of other books whose premises are rooted in the concept of the multiverse, but this one seems to me to incorporate and stay closest to scientific principles that we know about now and that aren’t too far from reality as we know it. I was particularly interested in reading it because I’ve already read Crouch’s Recursion, which absolutely blew me away with its complexity and layers of story and meaning. Now that I’ve read both, I think Recursion is a much more advanced and intricate book, with far more to offer than Dark Matter in ideas and plot twists to chew on, but without comparing, Dark Matter is still an intelligent and inventive novel that satisfies in the suspense department.
Rated: High, for 35 instances of strong language, about the same number of uses of moderate language, 20 or so uses of the name of Deity; some violence that includes some shooting deaths and perilous situations; sexual content is fairly low; there are several sex scenes, but they’re short and low on detail.