cover image Change Agent

Change Agent

Daniel Suarez. Dutton, $27 (416p) ISBN 978-1-101-98466-6

This outstanding speculative thriller from bestseller Suarez (Kill Decision) imagines a future of “living technology—a fourth industrial revolution of synthetic biology and genetic editing,” as the author puts it in an opening note to the reader. In 2045, Kenneth Durand mines data for Interpol’s Singapore-based Genetic Crimes Division, using algorithms to locate labs that cater to parents-to-be seeking to give their progeny a better life via illegal genetic therapies. The targeted genetic edits were initially intended to eliminate birth defects, but their potential for improving mental and physical capacity attracts those looking to provide their children with as many advantages as they can afford. An even more frightening prospect is realized when Durand himself is injected with a change agent that edits enough of his cells to make him the image of the criminal mastermind he’s been pursuing. His quest to get his life back integrates a classic Hitchcockian theme into a terrifying brave new world. The depth and sophistication of Suarez’s dystopian world—not to mention his facility at making complex science intelligible to the nonexpert—rivals anything Michael Crichton ever did. Agent: Rafe Sagalyn, ICM. (Apr.)