Matt Richtel. The Cloud (2013) 420 pp. [pbo]
A late-night accident on a San Francisco subway platform nearly kills journalist Nat Idle. But, then, there are no accidents. Disoriented, bloodied, dazed, and concussed from his fall onto the subway tracks, Nat goes in search of answers. He discovers that a beautiful stranger has come to his aid...and that the burly man who barreled into him had intended to do him harm. What he doesn’t know is why—and his quest for answers leads him to uncover a handful of mysterious deaths and a bizarre neurological disorder plaguing Bay Area children as he ventures ultimately into the Cloud. In a brave new world, the Cloud is where we store our data, and keep our secrets. But it is something more—something insidious with the power to change not just how we interact with the world, but our behavior, and our brains. Nat, in search of the truth, finds himself teamed up with the mysterious and beguiling brunette who came to his aid at the subway. Is she his savior, or femme fatale? He also finds himself lost in a psychedelic maze, discovering things that cannot possibly be, realizing there is no one and nothing he can trust...not even his own mind.
Setting: San Francisco