Darke Matter by Rick Gekoski @RGekoski @LittleBrownUK @RandomTTours #DarkeMatter


Darke Matter by Rick Gekoski was published by Constable on 1st April 2021. My thanks to the publisher for the review copy and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the blog tour invitation. 
James Darke is dreading the first family Christmas without his wife Suzy. Engulfed by grief, his grudging preparations are interrupted by a persistent knock at the door. Questions about the circumstances of his wife's death force him to confront the outside world and what really happened to her.

Isolated, angry and diminished, James soon faces a crisis both legal and psychological. It will test his resolve and threaten his freedom.

Darke Matter is a brilliant, mordant examination of the nature and obligations of love. Both immensely sad and extremely funny, the story wrestles with one of the great moral issues of our time.

The surprising sequel to Darke . . . 
My Thoughts: 

Darke Matter is going to be a tricky book to review. It follows on from Darke but you do not need to have read that first. There is more character study and thoughtful examination of humanity rather than pace and drama. 
Dr James Darke is certainly in the running for the award for most memorable character. At the outset he has barricaded himself in and has no interest in seeing or speaking to anyone. He has given up on everyone and everything, even himself. Even his family drive him up the pole, he feels obligated at Christmas time. 
It soon becomes clear that James Darke is a bit older and his wife Suzy has died of cancer. He thinks if he stays in then no one can bother him and he won't have to consider what actually happened. 
The wit and humour that rolls off of every page is sublime and there are literary references throughout which were engaging and thoroughly entertaining and I am assuming a testament to the long career of the author surrounded by the written word.. It is a book that kept me on my toes and the sort of book that I would reread to go back over the wry and humorous bits I missed the first time around.

I fear that I haven't managed very well to do this one the justice it deserves but it is a moving portrayal of love and grief and exactly what it takes to let go. All wrapped up for us by the curmudgeonly and often cantankerous Dr James Darke. A character I will always remember.

About the Author: 
Rick Gekoski came from his native America to do a PhD at Oxford, and went on to teach English at the University of Warwick. In 1982, sick of lecturing, he decided to become a full-time rare book dealer, specialising in important twentieth-century first editions and manuscripts. He lives in London and spends time each year in Paris and New Zealand.

Please do have a look at the other stops on the blog tour.

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