40 pages 1 hour read

Blake Crouch


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Part 1, Chapters 1-3Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary

Content Warning: The source material includes discussion of death by suicide.

The novel begins in the Denver airport. Two law-enforcement officials, Nadine Nettman and the narrator, Logan Ramsay, are about to arrest a dangerous criminal by the name of Henrik Soren. Logan and Nadine are members of the Gene Protection Agency (GPA), and Soren is suspected of conducting illegal business with a gene lab in Denver. Soren is taken into custody and interrogated. Logan does not explicitly mention the date in the first chapter, but presumably it is sometime in the not-too-distant future. He mentions a significant event called the Great Starvation that was the result of genetic modification gone awry, revealing that the renowned geneticist whose work led to the calamity was his mother. While her work was intended as a solution to crop failure, unforeseen mutations caused exactly that on a global scale, resulting in the deaths of 200 million people. Logan also implies that he was associated with it. The GPA was formed as a response to this catastrophe, enforcing new laws outlawing all work, whether professional or amateur, in genetic modification.

Soren offers a local address that he insinuates is the location of the gene lab.