Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise

Fiction - Literary
380 Pages
Reviewed on 10/15/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Why did I write the thing? Contemplating my wall of family portraits, I was hit by a wave of melancholy as I realized that I, too, would soon be one of those pictures. And even if I should be so lucky as to have my image hung on a wall instead of being condemned to an attic storage box, any future observer of that wall will know me no deeper than that thin flat photo. Compelled by that, I wrote the novel, to illustrate how characters can have a profundity and an importance to those around them, but in the epilogue of each of their lives, no one will or can know, any longer, who they were.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise by John K Danenbarger is a tense crime drama you could lose sleep over. The plot is riveting and is the definition of a slow burn, but is well worth the time invested in learning about the characters and their situations because it all pulls together as the story progresses. This eclectic mix of characters are fully formed and genuine, coming from all walks of life, and dealing with their own issues. The author uses multiple generations and time periods, even a few years into the future, and some in the past, but this is to show how things unfold over time. At times you'll wonder how each person fits into the bigger picture, but it's fun sorting it out.

The author is skilled at molding a story into an intriguing climax and ending, but as with any good mystery, you have to pay attention. The effort pays off. This is a very good book for a first novel. Danenbarger pulls together an interesting plot, complex characters, surprises, and most of all, a compelling story. He gives you the pieces of the puzzle, and it's up to you to put it together. When you do, you'll come away with a satisfying conclusion. I like how he explores the concept of death and its after-effects, and how the characters react to it. Even on the first page, it seems that death itself is a character. I also like his detailed descriptions, which lend to the atmosphere of each scene. If you're looking for a scintillating crime story that makes you both think and feel, you can't go wrong with Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise by John K Danenbarger.

Velma Lang

There is a dark side to John Danenbarger’s Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise. Entangled relationships spanning decades and locales connect families with suspicious deaths. The main family is Kevin, a cop, his wife Beth, and their children, Geena and adopted son, Davis. Beth was rescued in the past from prostitution by Joe sending her with Gerry to Bermuda. There, she flees from Gerry’s father, a rapist. Joe partners with Martin, a professor researching quantum physics. His fate is entangled with Ellen, a researcher in dolphins. Ellen is madly driving to stop Davis, her birth son, from killing the wrong birth father when her car crashes into Joe and Martin, who is killed. Kevin allows Davis to escape after killing the wrong man but accidentally kills Beth. Throughout the entangled relationships, Kevin’s hand is evident in many suspicious deaths. Into the future, it is left up to Geena to find meaning in quantum physics’ unified theory of the past and the future.

In spite of their dark underside, the characters in Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise are likable so that we are intrigued by their motivations, their search for existential meaning, and their fates. John Danenbarger has set their stories in multiple locales – New England, Bermuda, and Norway - to illustrate that entanglement occurs when two particles across vast distances are connected. He explores their thoughts to understand their strengths, frailties, and criminality. The chilling comment, “a killing will do the trick,” focuses the theme on murderous intent. If you are intrigued by quantum time, murder, and convoluted stories, this book is worth your time.

Vincent Dublado

Eight complex characters' lives intersect like an intricately woven spider web. John K Danenbarger’s Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise begins in the future of 2044 when a woman named Geena Nuss has been informed that one of her parents is dead. Flashback 60 years into the past and you get a glimpse of Geena’s mother living as a prostitute, and from here, you follow her attempts to escape that take her all the way to Bermuda. Other characters enter where each of them adds further dimension and depth to the plot through the consequences and choices that they make. Everyone here has a dark past and some are even driven by malicious and evil intentions. It is a tale that spans generations and the resolution moves toward Geena trying to reconnect with a living member of her family.

The novel’s title is the plot’s method of involving its characters in sticky, dangerous, and intriguing situations, and the skeletons in their closets are their common denominator. John K Danenbarger’s characters are no saints. And this is what I like about his writing. His characters click precisely because they challenge our sensitivities, to remind us that life is not always wholesome. As for plotting, his situations are inventive and original as well as the dialogue. They say what is needed to be said in order to advance the scene. A fair warning though: Be sure to read this with full attention, or you might get lost somewhere in the intertwining of the characters’ lives. With that out of the way, Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise is a must-read if you are the type who likes a brilliant excursion through the stark images that lie deep in the human psyche.

Christian Sia

Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise by John K. Danenbarger is an engaging literary fiction novel with well-developed characters, a complex plot, and a strong conflict. It is 2044 and Geena Nuss learns about the death of one of her parents. The story takes readers on a ride back into the past, following Geena’s mother who lived as a junkie and a prostitute, worked on a boat, thanks to the help of a stripper, Joe Tink, and her journey to Bermuda where she met and forged a relationship with a man who had the bad reputation of a slaver and rapist. Geena’s family has been scattered and she wants to reconnect with her brother. Her journey to reconnecting with an old friend and with Davis, her brother, will unearth disturbing family secrets and her roots.

Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise is a mesmerizing story in which a woman in her fifties unravels the history of her family. There is a cast of sophisticated and interesting characters, including Joe’s lover, Professor Martin Case, Kevin, Davis, and many others. While, at times, readers might feel lost when it comes to where the story is leading, the author succeeds in intelligently tying the threads together to create a wonderful reading experience. The quirkiness when it comes to character development is evidently one of John K. Danenbarger’s unusual gifts. He writes characters with solid, oftentimes disturbing backgrounds, exploring their lives of crime while arousing the curiosity of readers who are pulled into their worlds and who want to know how these characters end up. The writing is stellar and the terrific descriptions fill it with realism and humanity. It is a cunningly plotted story with unforgettable characters, a tale that is never lacking in suspense.

Romuald Dzemo

Entanglement: Quantum and Otherwise by John K. Danenbarger is a suspenseful and gripping story that follows Geena Nuss, a woman in her fifties on a quest to unravel the mystery about her family. The story starts when she learns about the death of one of her parents. A variety of characters are introduced, including Beth Sturgess, Geena’s mother who was once a drug addict and a prostitute before getting help from a stripper in Massachusetts — a character called Joe Tink — to work on a boat. In Bermuda, Beth lives with a sadistic slave owner and rapist. As the story moves forward, readers get to know an interesting cast of characters with their unique stories and eventually the one thing that binds them together.

John K. Danenbarger writes in a voice that is captivating. The descriptive narrative creates strong imagery and gets readers engaged with the characters as they follow the detailed, well-crafted scenes from page to page. The shifts in timelines create a strong sense of suspense in the story. Each character is well-developed, from Geena Nuss to her police husband, Kevin Nuss, from Joe Tink to Professor Martin Case, and many others. The backstory is skillfully written to add depth to characters, but what sets the writing apart is the skill with which the author connects the lives of the different characters, most of them having lived through unpleasant situations. Themes of love and adventure, prostitution, family secrets, and human connection are brilliantly written. The plot is cunningly crafted and the protagonist’s journey to reconnect with an old friend and her brother, Davis, lifts the suspense and keeps readers curious about what could happen next. An intelligently plotted novel with realistic themes, a gripping plot, and characters that are fully drawn and memorable.


Intriguing! An absorbing story about crime and a family. Danenbarger takes up the threads of the individual lives and turns them into a colorful and intricately woven fabric. One of the reasons the book works so well – and is so readable - is the author's talent for characterization. The fictional people he creates are so very real, and so very relatable, you may find yourself empathizing with a cold-blooded murderer.

Amy's Bookshelf Reviews

Intriguing story! Danenbarger pens an intriguing story in Entanglement: Quantum + Otherwise. I haven't read anything from this author before, and I really enjoyed this one. First, there were a lot of characters, but they were created with individuality and realistic. The author's writing style is interesting and definitely fit this story. Yes, it's a crime story, but it is so much more. This author brings the stories to life. I recommend reading each page deeply and keeping note of the characters, as there are a treasure trove of them, but they all belong in the story, and are very "entangled" with each other. The story brings in the believable, even if almost impossible. A very well-written story, and I enjoyed it. This story was intriguing and kept the reader guessing. I have fast become a big fan of Danenbarger. I look forward to reading more by this author. This book is a definite recommendation.

Michael Aikenhead

Evocative description builds the tension. This was a hugely enjoyable and intriguing book, which I repeatedly found myself discussing with my partner as we drove around twisty mountain roads on a recent holiday. At the end of each day I was looking forward to picking up the multiple threads of story and trying to untangle relationships across the various characters and time periods, to find out what ultimately connected them across apparently separate lives. In this strong focus on character, on families and on family relationships and their impacts, 'Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise' reminded me of Anne Tyler's novels. However the novel came with a twist, and the tempered release of insights about the characters and the rich evocation of the settings in which events occurred, delicately built tension and the sense of that something larger behind the individual stories.

Liam Xavier

Loved it!

A fascinating web of interconnected lives filled with delectable drama & romance, albeit partially let down by its complexity.

In 'Entanglement', John Danenbarger sets up a series of interconnecting story-lines that seemingly seek to answer many fundamental and, at times, existentialist questions about life. His characters are so well rounded and exquisitely developed that it feels like one could meet them in the street and understand their trials and tribulations just from a look.

The writing and dialogue is articulate and beautifully descriptive. There is a consistent delivery of compelling drama and scintillating romance that allows the reader to dip into each narrative with a growing curiosity as to the books eventual denouement. How can this possibly end? What will happen to Beth or to Kevin or to Joe? These are questions that keep us interested and, more importantly, keep us reading.

Danenbarger creates a world of events and intrigue that not only creates fascination toward the life these characters are living, but also brings us a newfound interest in our own. What is the purpose of life? How do we define our happiness and in what ways are we connected to those around us? These are big questions being posed, but they are set-up in a way that is neither sickeningly optimistic or morbidly pessimistic, but merely considered for the merit of their value.

Naturally with a novel that does offer such deep conversations with a multitude of voices and characters, it does get a little convoluted at points. In the middle, there becomes a moment where you want to know about one character but their story-line is overshadowed by a new one. Some of the payoff of this is afforded in patience, but I can't help but think that it would have served the discussion and story to have been a little more sparing. There were some story-lines that felt, in some way, neglected by this abundance.

Nevertheless, it is a worthy read and one that is both scientific and human; a book best read with a coffee and an open mind. Danenbarger's writing and plot will suit anyone who cares more for the bigger questions of life than the simplicity of small talk. In summation: love, life and scientific wonderment.

Lomeraniel Audiobook Reviews

A beautifully written book. This is a book about relationships, about mistakes, and wrong actions, about the complexity of being human, about the imperfections that make us unique. There is not a main character in this book, all of them are important and also not at the same time, even though we get some first person statements from Cricket. I think there is where resides the beauty and complexity of this book. It is not someone’s story, as much as a book about relationships and about how we influence each other’s lives.


Highly Recommended. This is kind of novel that makes me really admire the author for his creativity and imagination. Great premise told in a very interesting way. Highly recommended. I really appreciate the advanced copy for review!!

Sheldon Greene

Compelling. Entanglement-Quantum and Otherwise, the title of this compelling, original, post -modern novel, is thematic. The author populates it with dysfunctional, tortured, despairing members of a family and others colliding like sub-atomic particles. We encounter a host of interactions, from passion to violence. The episodes are exposed in meaningful fragments, plot strands unraveled skeins, which come together in retrospect and which often seem irrational. The author is masterful in his descriptive powers. Overall he presents a vision of the human condition, which though painful, is not altogether subjective given the mess we have made of our world.


Compelling Character Development. As I began reading, I realized I was going to have to make a graph to keep the characters and their relationships straight in my mind. Yet the characters were not in the least superficial, but well developed. The characters are all complex and treated sympathetically, particularly the women. I think my favorite was Geena; second favorite was Joe. The concept of "weaving" a story applies here as the author takes the reader on a trip in and out of time, characters, relationships, crimes, and friendships relentlessly. The second detail to pay attention to are the crimes, who commits them and you will understand why they were committed. The book was engrossing and fun to read.


A surprising crime novel with an intricate plot. This book has a wide and varied cast of characters that will keep you on your toes. There isn't as much hard science as I would have liked, but the story is riveting. I really cared about the characters by the end of it. If you're looking for a good crime novel with elements of science, then this introspective book is for you!


A good crime fiction read. If you enjoy books about interconnectedness and crime, then this book will be a keeper. Danenbarger’s writing style is fascinating and his characters interesting and multidimensional.


Accurately Titled. Entanglement is exactly what it's about. Mostly placed in New England, it's an intertwined story about a handful of characters whose lives might or might not intersect. You don't know how or why or for that matter, why not, until the end. The story is tangled, the lives of the characters are tangled and the world they live in is, you guessed it, tangled. I want to be careful not to put in any spoilers, but just stick with it and all will be revealed. Pay attention because the seemingly passing details matter. The stories within stories create what is certainly an intelligent, fun and sometimes startling read.


Well Written Characters. It took me a while to get into this book but then I was hooked. The "quantum" stuff is explained so I could understand it. This is more science fiction than hard science, and the characters are really well written. The eight main characters are mixed together in a way that is engaging, but the story doesn't jump around. For a science book, this was really interesting with lots of drama. The family drama was intense. I could see this becoming an HBO series! Really good story.

Kirkus Reviews

Various culprits—linked in numerous ways—become involved in murder and other illicit deeds in this debut literary/crime novel.
In 2044, Geena Nuss gets word that one of her parents is dead. The story then hops back 60 years, when Geena’s mother, Beth Sturgess, is living as a drug-addled prostitute. She escapes the life with help from Massachusetts stripper Joe Tink, who gets her a job aboard a boat. But that vessel takes her to Bermuda, where she ultimately lives with a man who, according to locals, is a slave owner and rapist. Other characters gradually enter—and re-enter—the narrative, from Beth’s eventual husband, Kevin Nuss, who’s a cop, to Joe’s lover Martin Case, a math professor. Some have multiple connections: Ellen McKinnon meets Martin at a hotel bar, but she has ties to individuals in other, surprising ways. Nearly everyone has a dark past, including someone seeking revenge and another who’s a serial killer. By the mid-21st century, Geena is alone, her family members either dead or living elsewhere. Trying to reunite with an old friend and her estranged brother, Davis, she may soon learn the essential part that physics has played in everybody’s lives. Danenbarger excels at developing characters, which considerably benefits a story of intersecting lives. Some backstories as well as the players themselves are unsettling or unsavory, though they never fail to engage. But the best moments are the links among characters via encounters and unexpected relationships. These even induce suspense: Successive chapter titles cite a “Friday” of impending doom, with a car wreck, which Kevin witnesses, that’s bound to involve established characters. While the author astutely describes quantum entanglement as a possible reason for the interconnected characters, he wisely keeps the titular concept ambiguous and the ending wide open. Nevertheless, the novel’s timeline is, in a few instances, perplexing. For example, Geena is “in her fifties” in 2044, but her parents meet in 1997; and Beth refers to a quarter century as “several years.”
Gritty characters solidify an intelligent story and an abstract concept.


Literary Crime Thriller Masterpiece
This was such a thrilling and engaging read. I'm a sucker for genre-bending books that weave together multiple narratives that ultimately culminate into one mind-blowing finish. And Entanglement did not disappoint! The setting descriptions of Bermuda were so beautiful and lush (I need to go) and the characters complex and fascinating ( I especially loved Beth). If you're a fan of both lit fic and crime thrillers, I highly recommend reading this perfect melding of the two.

Ann Stevenson

This book is quite compelling.
Entanglement-Quantum and Otherwise is an apt title which reflects internal and external relationship complications through the characters’ inner dialogues as well as their interactions with one another. Mr. Danenbarger explores the moral dilemmas these characters face and describes the changes each experiences in captivating and intriguing ways. The themes of good and evil and the continuum separating the two include the interwoven, engrossing sub-plot of climate change. One warning: Start this book with sufficient free time as curiosity about the plot development is quite gripping!

Lynn Hill

Thank you for the great book! I have never read anything by this author before, but I am sure I will read another book written by him! This was such an intriguing book. All the character seemed to mesh together so well even though you wouldn't believe it possible. A bit heavy in the science but it is explained quite well. Great job John!

Janet Slipak - MyBookAbyss.com

Profound. Thought-provoking, oddly satirical at times but effective to the core of the story. Intriguing and insightful, yet strangely adaptive to the genre through delving into the depths of the soul of each complexed, multi-layered character fleshed out to perfection. Very realistic and very relatable, these characters will dig into your resolve and keep you interested in finding out how and why they’re linked together. A bit of a “dry” read at times, but this didn’t affect the pace or interest. I found it a slower read than other books this length, but again this did not turn the reader off. The plot was hidden and at times camouflaged until a character adds a bit or piece of the puzzle, cleverly written if not a dangerously risky method of engagement for readers. This proved that the writer is clearly talented and worth the follow. A truly intellectual writer, the author’s research and knowledge base is clearly exposed throughout the writing. A very engaging read and one I’m glad I had the opportunity to have.


A fun and startling read. I found myself sometimes confused in the earlier chapters, but I kept at it being drawn in by all the mystery, the unexplained. My persistence paid off in the end. Stick with it and all will be explained. The characters are complex creatures who surprise you with their generosity, heart, and brutality. Pay attention because the details matter.


A surprisingly fun story to follow. It was a little less science, and more heart than I expected. There is laid out a cast of imperfect people spanning generations, and you see how their lives intersect. The invisible, sometimes almost visible thread that binds them. I really was caught off guard by the characters I rooted for, the shock of loss, and the yearning for connections some went to hear lengths to get, or be rejected. It's a good book to get lost in, if you can handle the time jumps. They all mean something, and none of it is inconsequential.

Janice Lombardo's Reviews

An exceedingly good premise - weaving a number of lives together in a very intricate way. We first learn of Beth and Joe. From there we go to Bermuda where Beth is literally shipped out from Bangor, Maine. This story is about a number of people - some more down in luck than others - who interact with each other in the most amusing and surprising ways. Although this does not detract from the illusions made by the other stories, the truck/car crash is an important event as are the nautical overtures. These same people continue to become intertwined with each other's lives and in a most fantastical (and interesting) way. Throw in a little sci-fi and science and you have a novel of suspense and intrigue. The book is a bit lengthy but it does pack a lot in! My thanks to StormBlock Publishing and NetGalley for a fun and innovative adventure! I read it twice.


A well done novel concerning the cause and effect of one generation's actions on the people coming after them. The book is populated by eight flawed characters living their lives in ensuing times with their thoughts, deeds and actions having direct effect on others. The reader is led from person to person, event to event in a novel carefully planned to follow the sequence laid out by Mr. Danenbarger. The process is cumulative what happens to whom and how does it affect the other principals in the book. Quite well done and an engrossing read highlighting the author's work.


Do you like braided narrative crime fiction? You will like this book. A group of eight characters intertwines within deadly secrets and damaging lies. Entanglement: Quantum + Otherwise unravels the impact of the death of a loved one over generations.

Audiobook Review

Entanglement-Quantum and Otherwise is the first book from John Danenbarger, a business blogger who has just started his career in literary crime fiction with this beautifully written adventure through generations. The story guides the listeners through a quietly gripping exploration of the different generations of one ill-fated family and shows them how a tragic event could change forever the flow of time and life for those yet unborn. Filled with well developed, but truly flawed characters, vivid descriptions and a sense of urgency that will keep you involved until the end, Entanglement-Quantum and Otherwise is entertaining, immersive, atmospheric and quite different from other books out there. The audiobook version of Entanglement-Quantum and Otherwise is performed with talent by David de Vries. He does a fantastic job bringing all the characters to life and infusing the story with his original delivery, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from an actor of his caliber. For those not familiar with his work, David de Vries is an Audie and Odyssey Award–winning narrator for his performance in Pam Munõz Ryan’s Echo and has voiced over 100 titles in every genre, so, this story is right up his alley. The overall audio recording quality is great and the production is enriched by the addition of original short cello interludes that elevate the level of immersion even higher. I really enjoyed the story, the characters and the narration very much and can recommend this book, but especially the audiobook, to anyone looking for a good mystery drama.

Alex Richardson

John Danenbarger captures his readers in the prologue of Entanglement, Quantum & Otherwise. While we are intrigued to find what happened between Geena and Joe, what did her brother and father do, most of all, we are immediately enthralled by the strength and intelligence of Geena and want to know more about her. However we will have to wait a while to return to Geena since chapter 1 takes us back in time to before Geena’s birth. The author skilfully develops the book’s characters creating empathy with the protagonists, even the criminals. I was disturbed by feeling empathy for Geena’s father and brother, while knowing that their actions are deplorable. Although the book touches upon complex themes, as suggested by the title, they are not developed in a way to distract readers who are not interested in scientific theory. Instead, John uses these themes to provide his readers food for thought such as what happens to our ideas and work when we are no longer around to defend them. Entaglement, Quantum & Otherwise is intellectually probing and an enjoyable read.