New York Times best-selling author Robin Cook takes on the ripped-from-the-headlines topic of harnessing DNA from ancestry websites to catch a killer in this timely and explosive new medical thriller.
When the body of 28-year-old social worker Kera Jacobsen shows up on Chief New York City Medical Examiner Laurie Montgomery’s autopsy table, at first it appears she was the victim of a tragic yet routine drug overdose. But for Laurie and her new pathology resident, the brilliant but enigmatic Dr. Aria Nichols, little things aren’t adding up. Kera’s family and friends swear she never touched drugs. Administrators from the hospital where Kera worked are insisting the case be shrouded in silence. And although Kera was 10 weeks pregnant, nobody seems to know who the father was – or whether he holds the key to Kera’s final moments alive.
As a medical emergency temporarily sidelines Laurie, impulsive Aria turns to a controversial new technique: using genealogical DNA databases to track down those who don’t want to be found. Working with experts at a start-up ancestry website, she plans to trace the fetus’ DNA back to likely male relatives in the hopes of identifying the mystery father.
But when Kera’s closest friend and fellow social worker is murdered, the need for answers becomes even more urgent. Because someone out there clearly doesn’t want Kera’s secrets to come to light…and if Aria gets any closer to the truth, she and Laurie might find themselves a killer’s next targets.
All in all a good read. Fascinating medical drama leading to an impressive discussion as to how far DNA and genealogical databases have come and its many uses apart from just finding distant relatives. The only downside is that the ending was a bit drawn out and there were a few things that got me laughing. I mean who the hell stores medical documents in the iCloud in today’s world. Have they not heard of HIPAA? Heh. The dialogue was a bit drab in parts and I felt sometimes that I should have probably also read the previous 11 books… Not financially feasible as this one didn’t get me fascinated enough to even try.
About the author
Dr. Robin Cook (born May 4, 1940 in New York City, New York) is an American doctor / novelist who writes about medicine, biotechnology, and topics affecting public health.
He is best known for being the author who created the medical-thriller genre by combining medical writing with the thriller genre of writing. His books have been bestsellers on the “New York Times” Bestseller List with several at #1. A number of his books have also been featured in Reader’s Digest. Many were also featured in the Literary Guild. Many have been made into motion pictures.