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Mar 18, 2001 04:11 AM 6663 Views
(Updated Mar 07, 2010 02:04 PM)



I have long been a fan of Stephen King, Peter Straub and Dean Koontz books, but Robin Cook chills my blood like no other author. His books really frightening, not because they contain monsters, or things

that go bump in the night, but because the things he writes about could possibly become reality, if they aren’t already!

In Mutation, we meet Victor Frank and his wife, both successful in their chosen medical field. He a researcher into infertility and she a psychiatrist. They have one son David, but yearn for more chilren. Marsha is unable to have any more children so they resort to a surrogate mother.

All is well in the household, the new baby VJ thrives and shows extraordinary ability. He is able to walk at 6 months, talk fluently and coherently by 2 years and read at 3 years old, he is a genius of whom he parents are extremely proud. Then tragedy strikes. David, the eldest son is struck down with a rare form of liver cancer and dies within days of diagnosis, this also happens to the boys nanny. There is no explanation or reason for the occurence.

VJ however thrives, does well at school but his mother is concerned about his lack of social skills and friends. We begin to understand why VJ is the genius he is. During the fertilization process, carried out by Victor Frank himself, he inserted a gene into the DNA to ensure superior brain function, rather similar to Frankenstein, I wonder if this was in Cooks mind when he named his character?

Marsha Frank is understandably horrified when she learns of this tampering, especially when she uncovers some of the bizzare coincidences that occur in the deaths of the people who cross VJ or make him angry. The most horrifying death being those of his brother and nanny. Who died when VJ was only 3 years old - how could he be responsible?

We soon learn what VJ has been up to. With his friend, Phillip a retarded employee at his fathers lab he has set up his own lab, in a disused clock tower, running his own staff. Gaining equipment by a variety of blackmail situations. He has experimented on a variety of people and has perfected a fertility technique his father has been struggling with for years.

I won’t go any furthur into the story as it would spoil it for anyone who has not read it and plans to. It really is a gropping read, one that will keep you up late into the night, and for many nights after you have finished it.

It raises many questions as to whether it is really possible, especially with the advances of medical science today.

The only disadvantage I can find with this and indeed all Cooks books is that he tends to dive headlong into medical jargon with little explantion. I have medical knowledge but it lost me at times, especially explaining DNA sequencing etc.. you get the picture?

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Mutation - Robin Cook