Mother Knows Best

Kira Peikoff. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-64385-040-5
This fascinating psychological thriller from Peikoff (Living Proof) opens with Michael and Claire Burke driving from their home in Garrison, N.Y., with their daughter, fifth-grader Abby, to New York City to visit the Museum of Natural History, the favorite place of Claire’s son, Colton, whose death at age eight a decade earlier was caused by a genetic defect in his mitochondrial DNA. Flash back to the period after Colton’s death. Claire is terrified to have another child with the same defect, so she and her new husband, Michael, consult a fertility specialist who has been able to produce healthy fetuses by, contrary to federal law, replacing damaged mitochondrial genes. The doctor’s in vitro treatment results in Abby’s birth, though her parents have never told Abby how she was conceived. Now, Abby has a surprise for her parents, and when they arrive at the museum, Claire is devastated to see that the surprise is J, who lives in her mind “like a bloody knife deep underground.” Why Abby’s parents have kept her genetic history secret and why Claire fears the mysterious J will keep the reader turning the pages. Peikoff expertly exposes the dark side of contemporary medical science. Agent: Erica Silverman, Trident Media. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/28/2019
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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