The J Factor

Stephen Kanar, Author Bantam Books $5.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-553-58079-2
Kanar's debut novel is an imaginative page-turner about a near-future society dominated by big business and big medicine. The book's title refers to the Justification Factor, the moral basis for organ allocation established by the International Organ Replacement Corp. (IORC), a powerful, multibillion-dollar industry that produces transplantable organs for patients with high enough J Factors. Societies around the world use the J Factor to control the actions of their citizens. In the U.S., a personal-records crystal implanted in every resident's earlobe stores vital information that can be quickly accessed by the government-administered Universal Medical Hospital and Pharmaceutical Care System. Many people have died as a result of J Factor policies, but IORC is so powerful that most world governments--and the U.S. president, who has an IORC heart--believe the organization can do no wrong. When Dr. David West, an ambitious young heart surgeon from Orlando, Fla., accidentally violates IORC polices and a man dies as a result, he and attorney Janette Compton set out to expose IORC's corrupt practices to the world. Packed with well-rounded characters, fast-paced turns, complex and bizarre medical practices, several subplots and tense courtroom scenes, this novel marks Kanar as a thriller writer to watch. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
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