Date of publication: February 18th, 2019
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Juan Gutierrez, a cancer researcher, has spent years studying the genome of animals that exhibit immunity to some types of cancer. Over the course of his study, Juan discovers a pattern that allows him to predict the course of a species’ evolution across thousands of generations.
Using the algorithm he’s developed from the pattern, Juan uncovers what he believes to be the key to conquering humanity’s susceptibility to cancer.
Others are interested in using what Juan has dubbed “Darwin’s Cipher,” however, instead of cancer research, they see very different applications for the new genetic algorithm.
Nate Carrington, an FBI forensic analyst has been struggling with several cold cases when he’s alerted to an incident at a nearby ranch. It’s a case of a newborn calf who is found in the middle of a herd of dead cattle. It provides a single link to Nate’s other cold cases: the DNA analysis of the calf doesn’t match anything in the FBI’s database.
Somewhere in a rural hospital in West Virginia, four hospital workers are dead and a newborn child has been transported to the NIH’s level-4 bio-containment unit.
It’s only when the NIH sends out an alert to all hospitals and law enforcement agencies that the world realizes the danger that faces them.
I am not a medical thriller fan. I haven’t read a book in this genre that I liked. So when I was approached with an invite to review Darwin’s Cipher, I was hesitant. But then I read the blurb, and my interest was caught. So I accepted. I am happy I did because this book was fantastic.
The plot with Juan made me both angry and sad at the same time. I was sad because he poured his life into researching a cure for cancer. I was mad because people were using his research in the wrong ways. I was interested in seeing what went on behind the scenes in a research lab. The author was able to capture the sacrifices researches make in their quest to find a cure.
The plotline involving Nate and his investigation was interesting. It was interesting to see what he was going up against in his investigation. The scene where the evidence disappeared from the locker was huge. Like he said, how does evidence disappear from a protected federal agency?
Frank and Katie’s plotline showed a 3rd side to what was going on. It was refreshing to see everything happen from a regular person’s point of view. Every thing that Frank, and then Katie went through, horrified me. Even now, I get shivers thinking about it.
All the main characters in Darwin’s Cipher were well written. I was able to form a connection to them. They were 3d. Everytime I thought I had a character figured out, another layer would be revealed. Loved it.
Out of the three main characters, I’d have to say that I liked Katie the best. She was an ordinary woman caught up in something that bigger than her. Her actions and reactions would be close to what I would do. I also liked how her character developed throughout the book. She started as an immature girl and ended up as a mature woman.
Juan was a force of nature in this book. He was passionate about his research. The author did a fantastic job of portraying that. He sacrificed so much to get where he was. My only fault with him was that he had tunnel vision about his career. But, that passion came in handy at the end of the book.
Nate was the only character in the book that I felt I could have gotten to know better. Still, I liked him.
The secondary characters in Darwin’s Cipher added depth to the book. I will include the dog in with the secondary characters. Not saying why. Need to read the book to find out.
The bad guys gave me chills. While I understood why one of the bad guys did what he did, I couldn’t get past it. The other bad guys were evil. There were surprises about them, though. A couple of people who I thought were in on it wasn’t. And a person who I thought was on Juan’s side wasn’t.
Darwin’s Cipher does get technical. I don’t even begin to understand lab procedures. There was also technical jargon that made me go “huh.” I was able to google/use my Kindle dictionary to look that stuff up.
I wasn’t a fan of the Juan/Katie romance in the book. It did make sense at the end of the book. It fueled Juan to do what he did. But, I didn’t like it.
The end of Darwin’s Cipher was a nail biter for me. The author had everything happening so quickly that I almost couldn’t keep up reading. I had to reread pages so I could process what was happening. The way the book ended had me wondering if there was going to be another book.
I would give Darwin’s Cipher an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Darwin’s Cipher. I would also reccomend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Darwin’s Cipher.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
Have you read Darwin’s Cipher?
What are your thoughts on it?
Let me know!!