cover image Genesis Code

Genesis Code

Jamie Metzl. Skyhorse/Arcade, $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-62872-423-3

Metzl (The Depths of the Sea), a former member of the U.S. National Security Council, offers up a tense vision of the near future with this science fiction thriller. When Kansas City Star reporter Dikran “Rich” Azadian tries to figure out who killed a college student, he finds a multilayered conspiracy involving genetic engineering, a powerful religious figure, shadowy government organizations, international espionage, and a trail of dead bodies. Only by recruiting some unlikely allies can Rich put the pieces together for the story of a lifetime. Metzl conjures up an America only a decade in the future; it remains familiar on the surface despite the technological and social changes that make the plot possible. Newspapers are viable though government-sponsored, religion is even more of a cultural lightning rod, and genetic selection allows for designer babies, while China has become America’s greatest competitor on several fronts. While the plot itself is standard, Metzl enhances it with a philosophical protagonist, scientific plausibility, and a keen sense of mood. Agent: Will Lippincott, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (Nov.)