Prime Recursion: A NovelAuthor Blake Crouch – Collateralloan.co

BarryNovember , 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 lobbyThe night watchman is standing by the bank of elevators, holding one open as Barry hurries toward him, his shoes echoing off the marbleWhat floor Barry asks as he steps into the elevator carForty one When you get up there, take a right and go all the way down the hallMore cops will be here in a minute Tell them I said to hang back until I give a signalThe elevator races upward, belying the age of the building around it, and Barrys ears pop after a few seconds When the doors finally part, he moves past a sign for a law firm Theres 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 thats paired with the largest officeIn 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 fishAs 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 terraceThe 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 abovea crown of glass and steel and gothic masonryThe woman sits fifteen feet away beside an eroding gargoyle, her back to Barry, her legs dangling over the edgeHe inches closer, the wet flagstones soaking through his socks If he can get close enough without detection, hell drag her off the edge before she knows what I smell your cologne, she says without looking backHe stopsShe looks back at him, says, Another step and Im goneIts 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 mistWho are you she asksBarry Sutton Im a detective in the Central Robbery Division of NYPDThey sent someone from the Robbery I happened to be closest Whats your name Ann Voss PetersMay I call you Ann SureIs there anyone I can call for you She shakes her headIm going to step over here so you dont have to keep straining your neck to look at meBarry moves away from her at an angle that also brings him to the parapet, eight feet down from where shes sitting He glances once over the edge, his insides contractingAll right, lets hear it, she saysIm sorry Arent you here to talk me off Give it your best shotHe 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 hes sure of is that his feet are freezingI know everything feels hopeless to you in this moment, but this is just a moment, and moments passAnn stares straight down the side of the building, four hundred feet to the street below, her palms flat against the stone that has been weathered by decades of acid rain All she would have to do is push off He suspects shes walking herself through the motions, tiptoeing up to the thought of doing it Amassing that final head of steamHe notices shes shiveringMay I give you my jacket he asksIm pretty sure you dont want to come any closer, DetectiveWhy is that I have FMSBarry resists the urge to run Of course hes heard of False Memory Syndrome, but hes never known or met someone with the affliction Never breathed the same air He isnt sure he should attempt to grab her now Doesnt even want to be this close No, f that If she moves to jump, hell try to save her, and if he contracts FMS in the process, so be it Thats the risk you take becoming a copHow long have you had it he asksOne morning, about a month ago, instead of my home in Middlebury, Vermont, I was suddenly in an apartment here in the city, with a stabbing pain in my head and a terrible nosebleed At first, I had no idea where I was Then I rememberedthis life too Here and now, Im single, an investment banker, I live under my maiden name But I havee visibly braces herself against the emotionmemories of my other life in Vermont I was a mother to a nine year old boy named Sam I ran a landscaping business with my husband, Joe Behrman I was Ann Behrman We were as happy as anyone has a right to beWhat does it feel like Barry asks, taking a clandestine step closerWhat does what feel like Your false memories of this Vermont lifeI dont just remember my wedding I remember the fight over the design for the cake I remember the smallest details of our home Our son Every moment of his birth His laugh The birthmark on his left cheek His first day of school and how he didnt want me to leave him But when I try to picture Sam, hes in black and white Theres no color in his eyes I tell myself they were blue I only see blackAll my memories from that life are in shades of gray, like film noir stills They feel real, but theyre haunted, phantom memories She breaks down Everyone thinks FMS is just false memories of the big moments of your life, but what hurts so muchare the small ones I dont just remember my husband I remember the smell of his breath in the morning when he rolled over and faced me in bed How every time he got up before I did to brush his teeth, I knew hed come back to bed and try to have sex Thats the stuff that kills me The tiniest, perfect details that make me know it happenedWhat about this life Barry asks Isnt it worth something to you Maybe some people get FMS and prefer their current memories to their false ones, but theres nothing about this life I want Ive tried, for four long weeks I cant fake it any Tears carve trails through her eyeliner My son never existed Do you get that Hes just a beautiful misfire in my brainBarry ventures another step toward her, but she catches him this timeDont come any closerYou are not aloneI am very f ing aloneIve only known you a few minutes, and I will be devastated if you do this Think about the people in your life who love you Think how theyll feelI tracked Joe down, Ann saysWho My husband He was living in a mansion out on Long Island He acted like he didnt recognize me, but I know he did He had a whole other life He was married I dont know to who I dont know if he had kids He acted like I was crazyIm sorry, AnnThis hurts too muchLook, Ive been where you are Ive wanted to end everything And Im standing here right now telling you Im glad I didnt Im glad I had the strength to ride it out This low point isnt the book of your life Its just a chapterWhat happened to you I lost my daughter Life has broken my heart tooAnn looks at the incandescent skyline Do you have photos of her Do you still talk with people about her YesAt least she once existedThere is simply nothing he can say to thatAnn looks down through her legs again She kicks off one of her pumpsWatches it fallThen sends the other one plummeting after itAnn, pleaseIn my previous life, my false life, Joes first wife, Franny, jumped from this building, from this ledge actually, fifteen years ago She had clinical depression I know he blamed himself Before I left his house on Long Island, I told Joe I was going to jump from the Poe Building tonight, just like Franny It sounds silly and desperate, but I hoped hed show up here tonight and save me Like he failed to do for her At first, I thought you might be him, but he never wore cologne She smileswistfulthen adds, Im thirstyBarry glances through the French doors and the dark office, sees two patrolmen standing at the ready by the reception desk He looks back at Ann Then why dont you climb down from there, and well walk inside together and get you a glass of waterWould you bring it to me out here I cant leave youHer hands are shaking now, and he registers a sudden resolve in her eyesShe looks at Barry This isnt your fault, she says It was always going to end this wayAnn, noMy son has been erasedAnd with a casual grace, she eases herself off the edgeA mind bending thriller USA Today Crouch has sketched out the rules for a new reality Recursion has a thrumming pulse that moves beyond big ideas and into their effects on a larger,complex worldR Recursionwill keep you up all nightfirst because you can t stop reading it, and then because you can t stop thinking about it BuzzFeed An epic page turner Good Housekeeping Quintessential SFfeatures wrenching emotional momentstense and vivid action sceneseminently rigorous and logical methodology and scienceAnd yet you will not predict anything LocusA fantastic philosophical thriller with ingenious plotting, cinematic action and unflappable charactersMinneapolisStarTribune Recursion will leave you breathless as it dives headfirst into a strange reality PopSugar The fragile elements of time, identity, and memory intertwine in Crouch s unforgettable new sci fi thriller A lightning paced, techno fantasy that lingers long after the last, mind numbing page SyFy Wire The smartest, most surprising thriller of the summer BookPageCrouch isnt just a world class thriller writer, hes a Philip K Dick for the modern age Recursion takes mind twisting premises and embeds them in a deeply emotional story about time and loss and grief and most of all, the glory of the human heartGregg Hurwitz,internationally bestselling author of the Orphan X seriesBlake Crouch has invented his own brand of page turnerfearlessly genre bending, consistently surprising, and determined to explode the boundaries of what a thriller can beKarin Slaughter, internationally bestselling author of Pieces of HerBrilliant Crouchs innovative novels never fail to grip Sarah Pekkanen,New York Timesbestselling co author of The Wife Between Usand An Anonymous GirlA masterful mind bender of a novel Crouch brilliantly infuses his story with dire repercussions and unexpected moral upheaval, and leaves you wondering what you would do if you had the chance to turn back the clockMark Sullivan,New York Timesbestselling coauthor of the Private series and author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky Cutting edge science drives this intelligent, mind bending thriller Crouch effortlessly integrates sophisticated philosophical conceptssuch as the relationship of human perceptions of what is real to actual realityinto a complex and engrossing plot Michael Crichtons fans wont want to miss this one Publishers Weekly starred review Completely engrossinghighly recommended, especially for readers who enjoy suspenseful, fast moving, well crafted, science based SF Library Journal starred review


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