cover image Albrick's Gold

Albrick's Gold

Simon LeVay. Masquerade Books, $20.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-56333-518-1

LeVay is a neurobiologist best known for his research into the biological differences between straight and gay men (The Sexual Brain). He has also explored the uses and abuses of medical research into homosexuality (Queer Science). Here, he utilizes his career preoccupation in a well-plotted and imaginative, if none too subtle, biotech thriller. Dr. Mary Braddock of the National Institute of Reproductive Health, is in a bind. The Navy has agreed to fund her research, with the condition that funds also be laundered to support less ethical research at Levitican University, where Dr. Guy Albrick is intent on discovering a surgical cure for homosexuality. Dr. Roger Cavendish, a scientist clearly modeled after LeVay, discovers that Albrick has already begun secretly transplanting fetal brain tissue from elective abortions into ROTC cadets, altering their hypothalamus gland, which ""straightens them out"" but also unleashes violent and aggressive sexual behavior. Cavendish's crusade to stop Albrick's work is also influenced by his growing affection for Jeff Galatzin, a young student torn between his homosexuality and his desire for a ""cure."" Although the romantic subplot is too thinly portrayed to be convincing, and LeVay lacks the narrative drive of Robin Cook or Michael Crichton, his premise and execution are original and engaging. (Mar.)