New York Times-bestselling author Robin Cook takes on the ripped-from-the-headlines topic of harnessing DNA from ancestry websites to catch a killer in this timely and explosive new medical thriller.
When the body of twenty-eight-year-old social worker Kera Jacobsen shows up on Chief New York City Medical Examiner Laurie Montgomery's autopsy table, at first it appears she was the victim of a tragic yet routine drug overdose. But for Laurie and her new pathology resident, the brilliant but enigmatic Dr. Aria Nichols, little things aren't adding up. Kera's family and friends swear she never touched drugs. Administrators from the hospital where Kera worked are insisting the case be shrouded in silence. And although Kera was ten weeks pregnant, nobody seems to know who the father was--or whether he holds the key to Kera's final moments alive.
As a medical emergency temporarily sidelines Laurie, impulsive Aria turns to a controversial new technique: using genealogic DNA databases to track down those who don't want to be found. Working with experts at a start-up ancestry website, she plans to trace the fetus's DNA back to likely male relatives in the hopes of identifying the mystery father. But when Kera's closest friend and fellow social worker is murdered, the need for answers becomes even more urgent. Because someone out there clearly doesn't want Kera's secrets to come to light . . . and if Aria gets any closer to the truth, she and Laurie might find themselves a killer's next targets.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
As we learned in the real-life case of the Golden State Killer, cutting-edge DNA research can help bring a murderer to justice. Doctor-turned-mystery-novelist Robin Cook’s 12th thriller featuring forensic-science power couple Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton hinges on exciting new technical developments in the world of genealogy. Here, Laurie—who has been promoted to NYC’s chief medical officer—is handed the case of a social worker whose apparent drug overdose doesn’t make sense. But when Laurie faces a health crisis of her own, it’s up to pathology resident Aria Nichols to solve the mystery—just as the murderer is ready to strike again. Cook’s medical knowledge proves just as compelling as the suspenseful stories he creates. The plot of Genesis goes in directions we didn’t see coming, making it a riveting read.
The sleuthing overshadows the mystery in bestseller Cook's routine 11th medical thriller featuring Laurie Montgomery (after 2018's Pandemic). Montgomery, New York City's chief medical examiner, has her usual full plate at work and at home: her office is under fire for a screwup involving cadavers with identical names; and her nine-year-old son is having trouble at school. In addition, a brilliant but difficult pathology resident, Aria Nichols, has been blowing off her residency. A sensitive case gives Montgomery the opportunity to work with Nichols. Social worker Kera Jacobsen has apparently died of an opioid overdose, and Jacobsen's boss at the city's Department of Pathology is hoping the autopsy can be handled discreetly. The discovery that Jacobsen was pregnant leads Nichols to pursue the father's identity, using unconventional genetic testing to do so. By opening with a depiction of a married man drugging Jacobsen, Cook eliminates any doubt of foul play, and fans will regret Montgomery's taking a back seat to Nichols for much of the book. Innovative forensic science isn't enough to sustain interest.