I met Mr DL Whitehead at the World Horror Convention 2014, having been introduced by my wife Vix, however I got my paws on it first.
I knew that I was going to enjoy this book as soon as I read the prologue which is written in such a descriptive and atmospheric manner that I could hear the rain as it bounced off the road and sloshed and riled down the gutters and into the drains. I could almost feel the water running off my head and down the back of my neck
The book is based on an evolution experiment thereby the pointer to Darwin and a scientists’ attempt to recreate life, in the form of a personal clone.
There are other reasons why he has used his own DNA but to say would give away part of the plot.
The consequences of tampering with the natural order of things become quickly apparent and the race is on.
The ‘MAD’ scientist is Dr Masters and the man in the white hat is Jake Storm an ex Special Services/CIA operative who now runs a large private security firms looking after a number of highly classified sites/organisations.
The main thrust of the tale is that of having created life, a possible homage to ‘Frankenstein’s monster’, it becomes impossible to control it and having imbued it with particular abilities makes the situation even worse.
At times we are reading parallel threads whilst Jake is trying to locate/save the doctor’s family and his compatriot is shadowing the clone.
This establishes an effective timeline, much like those in screen action pieces on television where you are watching the main story unfold whilst still being kept in the look as to what is happening elsewhere.
The story is well paced and the characters well rounded, with a selection of good guys, nearly good guys the odd useless bureaucrat and two or more bad guys.
Whist protecting the master’s family and trying to deal with the monster Jake and his team are in turn chased and harried by a team led by a team from one the many alphabet organisations that the USA has. Their mission is to obliterate all the evidence of the experiment that has become public by getting rid of the witnesses, while at the same time trying to gain access to the research for future use.
The Clone meanwhile is attempting to establish himself as the original and removing anyone, anything which contradicts that and also attempting to locate the Masters family so that he/it can set up home as part of confirming the identity.
There are a number of psychological problems relating to the good doctor, which have been ratcheted up in the clone and so lead him into acting in a violent way.
There are unfortunately a few editing errors that cause parts of the story to stutter and at least one story link appeared to be missing so that I had to re-read parts to make sure that I understood what was meant.
Although British I had no difficulty with any terms used. A good read and I hope there is a sequel!
(currently available on GooglePlay and in paperback - I am assured it will be on Ebook very soon!)