Dark Matter Blake Crouch, 2017.
Jason Dessen is an unambitious quantum physics professor at a decent if unremarkable college. Contentedly if not happily married to his wife. He could have been brilliant in his field. In a parallel universe, he is.
On the way home from celebrating his old roommate’s stellar Pavia Prize – a coveted sciences award he himself potentially should have won – Jason is abducted at gunpoint. Forcibly injected with an unknown substance.
He awakens in a tightly-guarded research facility hospital. He is decontaminated and lauded by people who know him, but whom he has no memory of.
Is he losing his mind? Which is his real world?
The Jason Dessen he is in this universe is colder. Ruthless. Driven. As he learns about the powerful invention the other Jason created, he knows he must find his way back to his version of Chicago and the love of his life.
What follows is a suspenseful, blistering-fast read. Jason travels across parallel universes; some heart-achingly close to his old life, some hellishly or marvelously different. There is a terrible pathos in Jason’s predicament, and readers identify with him on a profound level. Crouch touches an enduring existential fear in all of us. Where does one fit? What is the meaning of one’s life? Is there, in fact, meaning?
Dark Matter is foremost a thriller, but it resonates deeper; leaving readers contemplating their own paths not taken and the results of their own choices made or not made.
Some plot revelations you’ll see coming. Some you won’t. Guaranteed, you will not want to put this book down.