HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Book Review: Robin Cook – chromosome 6

Posted by HelenEdith on September 27, 2008

I enjoy Robin Cook’s books when they come my way and Stephen brought this one home from the charity shop.

There are two threads to the story: the Medical Examiner’s office in New York City, where the body of a gangster mysteriously disappears and then reappears minus certain parts; and a research facility in Equatorial Guinea, where a research scientist is having serious doubts about how ethical the results of his research are.

It transpires that the facility in Equatorial Guinea has developed a technique which allows them to breed primates whose organs will not be rejected by the human for whom they are a “double”. This has been done in a very secretive way, but they have been able to recruit a number of rich customers who may be in need of a transplant in the future, and transplants have started to take place.

It further transpires that the gangster was the recipient of a liver transplant and his disappearance from the morgue had more to do with this than with his gangster activities.

We switch between New York and Equatorial Guinea throughout the story as Dr Jack Stapleton becomes more and more curious about how the gangster can have had a liver transplant but not be taking any rejection drugs; while Kevin Marshall, whose process has made it all possible, becomes more convinced that he’s created something that oversteps the bounds of what can be ethically achieved. The company Kevin works for are ruthless in their drive to keep their transplant programme going, and Kevin’s questions about the genetically engineered primates start getting him into a lot of bother.

When Dr Jack Stapleton decides to visit Equatorial Guinea, matters come to a head, and everyone gets their answers, but not without a lot of danger.

I must look out for more of Robin Cook’s books.

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