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Recursion
Cover of Recursion
Recursion
A Novel
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory—his most mind-boggling, irresistible work to date, and the inspiration for Shondaland’s upcoming Netflix film.
“Gloriously twisting . . . a heady campfire tale of a novel.”—The New York Times Book Review
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • NPR • BookRiot

Reality is broken.
 
At first, it looks like a disease. An epidemic that spreads through no known means, driving its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. But the force that’s sweeping the world is no pathogen. It’s just the first shock wave, unleashed by a stunning discovery—and what’s in jeopardy is not our minds but the very fabric of time itself.
 
In New York City, Detective Barry Sutton is closing in on the truth—and in a remote laboratory, neuroscientist Helena Smith is unaware that she alone holds the key to this mystery . . . and the tools for fighting back.
 
Together, Barry and Helena will have to confront their enemy—before they, and the world, are trapped in a loop of ever-growing chaos.

Praise for
Recursion
“An action-packed, brilliantly unique ride that had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page . . . a fantastic read.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian
“Another profound science-fiction thriller. Crouch masterfully blends science and intrigue into the experience of what it means to be deeply human.”Newsweek
“Definitely not one to forget when you’re packing for vacation . . . [Crouch] breathes fresh life into matters with a mix of heart, intelligence, and philosophical musings.”Entertainment Weekly
“A trippy journey down memory lane . . . [Crouch’s] intelligence is an able match for the challenge he’s set of overcoming the structure of time itself.”Time
“Wildly entertaining . . . another winning novel from an author at the top of his game.”AV Club
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory—his most mind-boggling, irresistible work to date, and the inspiration for Shondaland’s upcoming Netflix film.
“Gloriously twisting . . . a heady campfire tale of a novel.”—The New York Times Book Review
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • NPR • BookRiot

Reality is broken.
 
At first, it looks like a disease. An epidemic that spreads through no known means, driving its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. But the force that’s sweeping the world is no pathogen. It’s just the first shock wave, unleashed by a stunning discovery—and what’s in jeopardy is not our minds but the very fabric of time itself.
 
In New York City, Detective Barry Sutton is closing in on the truth—and in a remote laboratory, neuroscientist Helena Smith is unaware that she alone holds the key to this mystery . . . and the tools for fighting back.
 
Together, Barry and Helena will have to confront their enemy—before they, and the world, are trapped in a loop of ever-growing chaos.

Praise for
Recursion
“An action-packed, brilliantly unique ride that had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page . . . a fantastic read.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian
“Another profound science-fiction thriller. Crouch masterfully blends science and intrigue into the experience of what it means to be deeply human.”Newsweek
“Definitely not one to forget when you’re packing for vacation . . . [Crouch] breathes fresh life into matters with a mix of heart, intelligence, and philosophical musings.”Entertainment Weekly
“A trippy journey down memory lane . . . [Crouch’s] intelligence is an able match for the challenge he’s set of overcoming the structure of time itself.”Time
“Wildly entertaining . . . another winning novel from an author at the top of his game.”AV Club
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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Barry

    November 2, 2018

    Barry Sutton pulls over into the fire lane at the main entrance of the Poe Building, an Art Deco tower glowing white in the illumination of its exterior sconces. He climbs out of his Crown Vic, rushes across the sidewalk, and pushes through the revolving door into the lobby.

    The night watchman is standing by the bank of elevators, holding one open as Barry hurries toward him, his shoes echoing off the marble.

    "What floor?" Barry asks as he steps into the elevator car.

    "Forty-one. When you get up there, take a right and go all the way down the hall."

    "More cops will be here in a minute. Tell them I said to hang back until I give a signal."

    The elevator races upward, belying the age of the building around it, and Barry's ears pop after a few seconds. When the doors finally part, he moves past a sign for a law firm. There's a light on here and there, but the floor stands mostly dark. He runs along the carpet, passing silent offices, a conference room, a break room, a library. The hallway finally opens into a reception area that's paired with the largest office.

    In the dim light, the details are all in shades of gray. A sprawling mahogany desk buried under files and paperwork. A circular table covered in notepads and mugs of cold, bitter-smelling coffee. A wet bar stocked with expensive-looking bottles of scotch. A glowing aquarium that hums on the far side of the room and contains a small shark and several tropical fish.

    As Barry approaches the French doors, he silences his phone and removes his shoes. Taking the handle, he eases the door open and slips out onto the terrace.

    The surrounding skyscrapers of the Upper West Side look mystical in their luminous shrouds of fog. The noise of the city is loud and close—car horns ricocheting between the buildings and distant ambulances racing toward some other tragedy. The pinnacle of the Poe Building is less than fifty feet above—a crown of glass and steel and gothic masonry.

    The woman sits fifteen feet away beside an eroding gargoyle, her back to Barry, her legs dangling over the edge.

    He inches closer, the wet flagstones soaking through his socks. If he can get close enough without detection, he'll drag her off the edge before she knows what—

    "I smell your cologne," she says without looking back.

    He stops.

    She looks back at him, says, "Another step and I'm gone."

    It's difficult to tell in the ambient light, but she appears to be in the vicinity of forty. She wears a dark blazer and matching skirt, and she must have been sitting out here for a while, because her hair has been flattened by the mist.

    "Who are you?" she asks.

    "Barry Sutton. I'm a detective in the Central Robbery Division of NYPD."

    "They sent someone from the Robbery—?"

    "I happened to be closest. What's your name?"

    "Ann Voss Peters."

    "May I call you Ann?"

    "Sure."

    "Is there anyone I can call for you?"

    She shakes her head.

    "I'm going to step over here so you don't have to keep straining your neck to look at me."

    Barry moves away from her at an angle that also brings him to the parapet, eight feet down from where she's sitting. He glances once over the edge, his insides contracting.

    "All right, let's hear it," she says.

    "I'm sorry?"

    "Aren't you here to talk me off? Give it your best shot."

    He decided what he would say riding up in the elevator, recalling his suicide training. Now, squarely in the moment, he feels less confident. The only thing he's sure of is that his feet are freezing.

    "I know everything feels hopeless to you in this...

About the Author-
  • BLAKE CROUCH is a novelist and screenwriter. His novels include the New York Times bestseller Dark Matter and the international-betselling Wayward Pines trilogy, which was adapted into a teleivsion series for FOX. He also co-created the TNT show Good Behavior, based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. He lives in Colorado.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    January 1, 2019

    In this follow-up to Dark Matter, which has sold more than 400,000 copies, Barry Sutton learns that a new technology for preserving our more beloved memories can also be used to remake them. Rights sold to Netflix in a multistudio auction.

    Copyright 1 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    In this follow-up to Dark Matter, which has sold more than 400,000 copies, Barry Sutton learns that a new technology for preserving our more beloved memories can also be used to remake them. Rights sold to Netflix in a multistudio auction.

    Copyright 1 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2019
    In Crouch's sci-fi-driven thriller, a machine designed to help people relive their memories creates apocalyptic consequences. In 2018, NYPD Detective Barry Sutton unsuccessfully tries to talk Ann Voss Peters off the edge of the Poe Building. She claims to have False Memory Syndrome, a bewildering condition that seems to be spreading. People like Ann have detailed false memories of other lives lived, including marriages and children, but in "shades of gray, like film noir stills." For some, like Ann, an overwhelming sense of loss leads to suicide. Barry knows loss: Eleven years ago, his 15-year-old daughter, Meghan, was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Details from Ann's story lead him to dig deeper, and his investigation leads him to a mysterious place called Hotel Memory, where he makes a life-altering discovery. In 2007, a ridiculously wealthy philanthropist and inventor named Marcus Slade offers neuroscientist Helena Smith the chance of a lifetime and an unlimited budget to build a machine that allows people to relive their memories. He says he wants to "change the world." Helena hopes that her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's, will benefit from her passion project. The opportunity for unfettered research is too tempting to turn down. However, when Slade takes the research in a controversial direction, Helena may have to destroy her dream to save the world. Returning to a few of the themes he explored in Dark Matter (2016), Crouch delivers a bullet-fast narrative and raises the stakes to a fever pitch. A poignant love story is woven in with much food for thought on grief and the nature of memories and how they shape us, rounding out this twisty and terrifying thrill ride. An exciting, thought-provoking mind-bender.

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 15, 2019
    Cutting-edge science drives this intelligent, mind-bending thriller from bestseller Crouch (Dark Matter). Neuroscientist Helena Smith, whose mother has dementia, has devoted herself to studying the biology of memory. She seeks “a way to save memories for deteriorating brains that can no longer retrieve them.” Her struggle to find grants for her work ends in 2007 when inventor and philanthropist Marcus Slade offers her carte blanche to pursue her work on his facility located on a repurposed oil rig in the Pacific Ocean—unlimited funding, whatever computing power she needs, and a team of highly skilled scientists. Helena’s research leads to some disturbing results. Meanwhile, in 2018 Manhattan, a woman jumps to her death from a tall building after telling the NYPD detective trying to save her that she has false memories of being married to a man whose first wife jumped from the same building 15 years earlier. Crouch effortlessly integrates sophisticated philosophical concepts—such as the relationship of human perceptions of what is real to actual reality—into a complex and engrossing plot. Michael Crichton’s fans won’t want to miss this one. Agent: David Hale Smith, InkWell Management.

  • Booklist

    April 1, 2019
    In 2007, neuroscientist Helena Smith invents a "memory chair," a device that can capture the memory of a specific event?and then reintroduce that memory into a person's brain on command. Her aim is to help Alzheimer's patients, including her beloved mother. But the wealthy tech magnate who has the funds to make the chair a reality has more sinister motives. Come 2018, the world sees those motives in action: people are afflicted with False Memory Syndrome (FMS), in which they suddenly wake up one day with a new set of memories of a different life. These memories compete with their current "real" life and drive people mad. But are the new memories indeed false? Or are they evidence of the chair enabling time travel? New York detective Barry Sutton investigates an FMS suicide and finds himself entrenched in a past, present, and future he never could have imagined. Crouch fills his follow-up to Dark Matter (2016) with mind-bending science, mounting suspense, and some romance. Readers may have to accept that they might not get the physics of what's going on, but, in a peculiar way, that's part of the fun.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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A Novel
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