The most interesting thing about this book is that I picked it up when I was 1,521 miles from home, and it turned out the first murder happened in a town about 20 miles from where I live. So that was kinda cool, to read about the medical examiner in Ulster County, and think “Hey! I live there!”
Unfortunately, that is only a draw for a very small geographical population. For the rest of you, I’d say don’t bother. Remember that terrible movie with Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor, The Island? It’s basically that plot, except not in the future. Rich scientists obsessed with lengthening life spans start cloning themselves and their children, and using the clones to experiment on and as spare parts. One clone (Skyler) escapes, and finds his ‘prototype’ (Jude), and they band together to stop the whole conspiracy. Jude’s parents had died when he was young, and he was raised in foster care, so he had no idea his parents were wacko scientists. There’s lots of research and spying and plotting, and a love interest who also had a clone on the island, but she was killed for snooping.
The story is fine, although a little too much of everything. Too many coincidences. Too many really horrible bad guys. Too much danger, and too many chapters of “Who do we trust? Everyone’s in on it!” Too many narrow escapes. Too many last-minute cross-country flights. Where did they get their budget?
The writing is also not great. This guy never uses ‘on’ – it’s always ‘upon.’ Not the end of the world, but weirdly distracting when it happens so often. “The phone upon the desk rang.” “Her hair rested upon her shoulders.” “The dirt upon the beam caused a cave-in.” And everything is ‘instantly’ and ‘immediately.’ “Jude instantly recognized the man’s face.” “Skyler immediately left the room.”
Could’ve been an okay short story, I think, but lord, I did not need to follow these people around the country while they chased shady scientists.