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Synopsis

From Booklist
Slater Ellis is driving up a remote New Mexico canyon when he stumbles upon a naked teenage boy with a number tattooed on his forehead. Meanwhile, on Florida's Gulf Coast, thirtysomething Paige Stephens picks up her phone and overhears her husband, a genetics researcher, committing suicide. Slater and Paige eventually connect as they penetrate the mystery of the "Institute," a shadowy, quasi-military operation hidden in the New Mexico mountains. The Institute is headed by one Peter Van Klees, a genetics professor who hides behind the good works of a world relief organization to divert fetal tissue from abortion clinics to his DNA research. The feral boy, who turns out to be three identical boys, is a product of that research. When Slater learns of Paige's abduction--into the Institute's macabre maternity ward, where she is impregnated with an experimental fetus--he rescues her and destroys the Institute, but only after he's captured and tortured in a series of visceral scenes. The versatile Brouwer, author of two atypical westerns, has turned in a white-hot performance. On one level, Double Helix is much like a James Bond adventure, complete with Fleming's dour humor; readers may also be reminded of Wells' Island of Dr. Moreau. But additionally, Brouwer vivifies the moral problems DNA research poses and connects them with another red-flag issue, abortion. Word's huge print run suggests confidence in Brouwer's potential to cross over from the Christian market to the mainstream, and they may be right: with impressive control and no preachiness, he has written a scary, maniacal novel. John Mort

Review
Double Helix revolves around Peter Van Klees, a genetics professor turned entrepreneur. With the support of key military leaders, Van Klees maintains several identities as well as a top secret "Institute" where he is free to carry his most daring experiments to completion. But Paige Stephens, searching for answers to her husband's mysterious death, and Slater Ellis, intrigued by unexplainable events near a top secret military base, stumble into Van Klees' web of deceit and cannot forget what they know. Their persistent questioning leads them to shocking conclusions about the Institute, but proving their suspicions may require the sacrifice of their own lives. -- Midwest Book Review

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