Peter James

Perfect People

"Perfect People’ is a thought provoking novel."


John Klaesson and is wife Naomi are grieving their lost son who died of a rare genetic disease. Desperate for another child but terrified of the diseased gene which they both carry striking again they turn to leading geneticist Dr Leo Dettore. His research has enabled him to cleanse genetic profiles to make sure that hereditary illnesses can be eradicated from the genetic profiles of the embryo. His methods can spare them the pain of losing another child. But his methods also bring into question their own moral codes and they are left wondering if the price is too high.

His shipboard clinic is where the nightmare begins. They are presented with a list to choose from: height, build, eye colour and even personality traits such as empathy and compassion. They discover they have the chance to not only have a disease free child but an actual designer baby. When Naomi falls pregnant they have second thoughts as they are already suspecting something is very wrong.

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This departure from the Roy Grace series is the first standalone novel Peter James has released in years, and boy was it worth the wait. As ever the attention to detail is paramount, and while the thought of lots of scientific facts may concern some readers, James' prose is so delicately written that you never feel as if you are reading a textbook. One set piece took me right back to a similar experience in my own life and I can tell you that every corresponding detail was spot on. The central characters of Naomi and John are extremely well crafted and their thoughts and fears are portrayed with the skilful nuances at which Peter James excels. Dettore is a fine support as he creates moral dilemmas for reader and character alike and the murderous Timon adds an evil edge to proceedings. The plot is engrossing and with a book this good you'll be thinking just one more chapter until you realise it's time to go to work. While the pace of the novel is never faster than steady, there is no need for concern as this style of novel would lose out with a hurried style. I have to say that all things considered, 'Perfect People' is a thought provoking novel

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