4 out of 4 stars
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Watch out James Patterson, there is another crime novelist in town! REAP by Frank J. Edwards is an amazing story with current issues, complex criminals, and a great storyline.
There are three sides to this story. First, you meet Robert Wayne McNultey, a military Veteran who is hired by an extreme religious organization to bomb a hospital. This is in protest to an experimental reproductive device program known as the Gilchrist Tube project housed there. This group is not the only one with questions about the experiments. Nirav Desai, a bioengineer on the project starts asking questions about the design. Soon after, he mysteriously disappears.
The second group of characters is the doctors and scientists working on the project as well as the organization that funded it. REAP, or Reproductive Eugenics Amelioration Project is interested in much more than helping women who are infertile due to fallopian tube problems. The group behind the Gilchrist Tube has some far-reaching societal changes in mind, and they are willing to hurt anyone that gets in their way.
Caught in the middle of all this are Dr. Jack Forester and his wife, Zellie. Jack has concerns about the Tube project, but he is more interested in keeping the staff safe and running his division of the hospital. Zellie also works for the hospital, but she used to be an investigative journalist. They both get involved in discovering who is terrorizing the hospital as well as what the project is hiding. In the end, it will endanger both them and their young child.
The plot of this book was extremely well done, and the characters were very believable. The action pulls the reader in and the pace keeps you interested. I liked how there were essentially two groups of bad guys, and although there was little mystery about who they were, their actions and motivations were intricate and often hidden. There were even a few surprises along the way. The character development though was the highlight of the book for me. Zellie Forester was my favorite. She is a deaf woman with a cochlear implant who discovers that she has an empathic sense about people when she turns the implant off. She is driven to find out the truth about Desai’s disappearance and fearlessly pursues it. Even minor characters are given quirky personalities and enough back-story for the reader to feel a connection to them. This author’s skill is evident in every chapter. This is a second novel using the Jack Forrester character, but I had no trouble understanding it without having read the first one.
The novel seems to have been professionally edited. I only saw one fragment and one missing period. However, I would suggest that the author put in a brief line break between dramatic scene changes. These shifts left me confused for a few lines each time. Still, I am rating this book as 4 out of 4 stars. The plot and the characters are so engaging. There is some violence, but it is not overly graphic. It is an amazing read for anyone who enjoys crime novels and/or medical stories.
REAP: A Jack Forester Thriller
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