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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 08/2019
  • 9781733821209 B07WPCJNPT
  • 433 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Details
  • 08/2019
  • 9781733821209 B07WPCJNPT
  • 433 pages
  • $11.99
Shanon Hunt
Author
The Pain Colony
Shanon Hunt, author

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Publish)

Allison Stevens thought she knew everything about her boss. But after he turns fugitive to flee federal charges, she’s stunned to discover his secret genetic research in pain tolerance. DEA Agent Peter Malloy has six bodies in the morgue, but when he learns a genetic drug is the culprit, he begins his own quest to find the source of the drug. Their search for answers leads them to a dark, disturbing cult, where true believers seem perilously addicted to suffering, devoted to becoming pure. Will they uncover the truth before it’s too late to stop what lies ahead?
Reviews
In Hunt’s chilling debut medical thriller, three story lines intertwine in a devastating account of science in the service of greed. Sweet but disturbed Layla has fragmented memories of her life before joining the cultlike Pain Colony, where she is enamored of the mysterious Brother James. Geneticist Allison Stevens is a hot mess who’s having an affair with her boss, Austin Harris, CEO of Quandary Therapeutics. She has no idea that Quandary is using the Pain Colony for illegal human genetic testing. When Austin is accused of insider trading and disappears, Allison tries to find him, only to run afoul of the FBI. Meanwhile, DEA agent Peter Malloy is dealing with a rash of dead bodies with intrathecal pumps for pain-relief drugs embedded in their spines. The trail leads him not to illegal opioids but to a genetically engineered painkiller. All three characters’ paths collide with a sinister plan to reprogram the human race.

Hunt, a former pharma executive, uses her vast knowledge of drugs and genetic advances to write in detail about CRISPR, the science of gene editing, and nanotechnology. She doesn’t shy away from including horrific descriptions of animal testing and of the terrible and frightening things that happen to the humans who aren’t chosen to become superhumans. Throughout, she makes it clear that she views human avarice as the primary threat to ethical science.

Hunt employs occasional wry wit (“sipping his urn coffee and admiring his view of the parking lot”) and moves the story along with rapid-fire discoveries, not lingering on the nitty-gritty of the protagonists’ quests for answers. Even secondary characters are fleshed out with quirks such as man buns and statement T-shirts. The plot builds up to a shocking finale that even jaded readers won’t see coming. This science fiction thriller entertains readers while raising powerful questions about medical ethics and the role of money in science.

Takeaway: Any fan of medical thrillers, ethical quagmires, and surprise endings will relish this gripping cautionary tale.

Great for fans of: Robin Cook’s Coma, the film Extreme Measures.

Production grades:
Cover: B+
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: -
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Booktrib

"Hunt has succeeded in spades to put together a fast-paced yarn with twists and stunning revelations. Every action and utterance is well thought out and works to advance the plot." --Booktrib

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 08/2019
  • 9781733821209 B07WPCJNPT
  • 433 pages
  • $4.99
Paperback Details
  • 08/2019
  • 9781733821209 B07WPCJNPT
  • 433 pages
  • $11.99

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