cover image Living Proof

Living Proof

Kira Peikoff. Tor, $24.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2930-1

Journalist Piekoff’s unsettling, timely debut presents an uncomfortably plausible near-future, in which the destruction of all human embryos has been outlawed in the name of saving the lives of unborn children. Trent Rowe, an agent for the New York City bureau of the U.S. Department of Embryo Preservation, investigates a suspiciously popular Manhattan fertility clinic run by a suspected “radical,” Dr. Arianna Drake, the daughter of a known opponent of the DEP. Trent’s superiors hope that a shutdown of the clinic “for ethical transgressions” will shore up the DEP’s imploding political support. Trent, initially a believer in the DEP cause, eventually finds himself caught in an ethical dilemma he could never have envisioned, torn between irreconcilable goals. Some clumsy prose, less than well-rounded characters, and a plot that follows well-established thriller conventions show Peikoff still learning her craft. Still, this engaging effort marks her as an author to watch. Agent: Erica Silverman, Trident Media. (Feb.)