VJ Books Blog

DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch

Review by John Hutchinson, VJ Books, July 15, 2016

Dark Matter Blake CrouchOkay, I’ll admit, I am a Blake Crouch junkie, and he has been way too busy with all of his Hollywood success to put out a new novel . . . until now. So I was thrilled to sit down with his new novel, DARK MATTER, disconnect for a while, and be taken on yet another Crouch thrill ride.

Jason Dessen is a modestly successful physicist teaching at a small college in Chicago. He is happy with his life, loves his wife Daniela and his teenage son, Charlie. His life seems calm and predictable until one night when he walks to a local bar to have a drink with an old friend.

As he leaves the bar he is attacked and abducted by a masked man who strips Jason of his clothes and his dignity, leaving him unconscious on a dark, damp concrete floor in an abandoned building on the edge of the city. 

Jason wakes strapped to a gurney surrounded by people in hazmat suits, people who seem to know him – welcoming him back from a prolonged absence. Something is amiss.

The world seems strangely different, and his recent memory is out of sync with his current surroundings. There are similarities, but as he explores this new world he discovers stark differences. He is a renowned scientist, Daniela is not his wife, but is instead a famous artist. And with no marriage, there is no Charlie.

His sanity is challenged as he comes to grip with what is real and what is imaginary. Is he in a dream state? Or was his previous reality the dream?

I dare to offer that DARK MATTER, with all of its science, suspense and intrigue is really a love story – a love story that only Blake Crouch could write. As the story unfolds Jason Dessen become a man driven with the single objective of reuniting with those that he loves.

To say that Jason Dessen is a multidimensional character would be somewhat glib, but as he faces adversaries it becomes apparent that those who want to prevent him from coming home can anticipate his every thought and move.

DARK MATTER is classic Crouch – it explores fringe science, in a story of struggle with memorable characters that is destined for the big screen.