At a time in the near future, human cloning is legal and Dr. Davis Moore is a fertility doctor specializing in reproductive cloning.
His daughter, AK, is raped and murdered but the killer isn't known. When Moore picks up his daughter's belongings from the police, there is a DNA sample from the killer. With no other way to catch the killer, he uses that DNA to clone a child who will grow up to be the exact replica of the killer.
In a parallel story, Mickey the Gerund is a religious fanatic. He's a member of the Hands of God and feels that he's part of God's army. His mission is to destroy fertility clinics and the doctors who run them. He's dubbed Byron Bonavarti by the press.
The novel proceeds at a leisurely pace which allows for the suspense to build. It spans many years as the child, Justin Finn, grows older.
The author provides information about the moral and ethical considerations of cloning. Our interest increases as Justin grows older and develops a compelling interest in serial killers in general and Byron Bonavarti, in particular.
With haunting prose, Justin becomes more like who we assume his father is and we wonder of Davis Moore has cloned another mass murderer.
There are many twists and surprises and the novel entertains as we see the inner goodness of people versus evil and we wonder which side will win.
Until the brutal rape and murder of his 18-year-old daughter, Dr. Davis Moore has a comfortable and successful life as cloning specialist at his own fertility clinic. While still controversial in first-novelist Guilfoile's America, legal human cloning has taken its place alongside in vitro. Strict rules require anonymous donors and forbid the cloning of a living person. However, given the nature of cloning, these rules seem made to be broken. Surely some eccentric billionaire … more
Set in a not too distant future after human cloning is legalized, this debut thriller is a disquieting pseudo-scientific meditation on what happens when the teenage daughter of a leading fertility specialist is brutally murdered and her father uses his professional skills and a bit of DNA extracted from the death scene to create a copy of her killer. Unlucky, unlikely Justin Finn is the result of Dr. Davis Moore's faith that one day hell look into the eyes and soul of the man who raped and strangled Anna Kat and understand what drove him to do it. His plan destroys his marriage, compromises his professional ethics, and threatens his own life, but all these complications pale next to the repercussion his efforts to clone Anna Kat's murderer have on the young man whose future is as predestined as his origins. Despite the shades of Robin Cook that hover over this intricately woven and unsettling mystery, Guilfoile's pacing is solid, his characterizations well drawn, and his own future as a writer assured.--Jane Adams