Title: The Killing Gene
Author: E.M. Davey
Book Length: 304 pages
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Read Start Date: March 22, 2022
Read Finish Date: April 25, 2022
Brief Summary of the Plot from Goodreads: There is none available. There are only 44 ratings total for this book, so it is not widely known.
My Review: I received this book as an ARC from Netgally in exchange for an honest review a while back. Unfortunately, I soon stopped reviewing books as I lost the taste for it. I am now picking it back up, and am reading the books I didn’t get to.
As per Netgalley this book is summarized as follows: “When a young archaeologist goes missing in the Congo basin, Professor Randolph Harkness and troubled tearaway Ross McCartney go in search of her only to stumble upon a conspiracy to conceal ancient horrors lost to the passage of time. Evading spies and trained killers, can they expose this cover-up in time or will they be buried with it? An unputdownable thriller, The Killing Gene reveals the story of our species, the paradox of the modern mind and our innate predilection for murder…”
The plot sounded intriguing, and it was mainly good, until about Chapter 83 (about 85% into the book). Then it just took a nose dive. Don’t get me wrong, there were issues also with the first 82 chapters, but I wasn’t rolling my eyes until Chapter 83.
Let’s talk about the positives: it was action packed, an interesting premise, and the writing wasn’t bad. The book seemed to be well researched into the history of humanity and how homo sapiens came to be the dominant human species on Earth. This aspect of the book was very interesting to me.
What could have been done better:
1) There were so many characters introduced (only to die in the same chapter) that it got a little confusing and tedious. Why did we need to see each person die? Couldn’t we have learned about the deaths from the main characters instead?
2) the reason why all these people were getting murdered was confusing. “That Brian Finer was investigating the Neanderthal extinction and stumbled upon their lack of New Brain. That this gave you a gateway into the human psyche that allowed you to manipulate public opinion like nothing else before or since.”
Essentially: since humans have “Old Brain” (a word that the author used more than 50 times in the last 15% of the book) politicians can plant concepts into the brain that make the public act in the way they want, or vote a certain way etc. I mean, everyone knows this already. It’s not a secret that politicians manipulate the public. I just couldn’t understand why this was the reason for the whole adventure or that so many people were dead…at the end of the book, the UK government collapsed because this “secret” was exposed…huh?
3) the characters seemed to jump around from country to country from one page to another. One page they were in some remote place in Afghanistan, the next page they were in England, with no connector paragraph. This was annoying. On the other hand, this definitely kept the action going!
Until I got to the last 15% of the book, I was sure that the ending would be different. Even the title “The Killing Gene” led me to believe that there was a gene that humans had that made us killers and that maybe the government was doing some experimentation on this gene or something — I definitely wasn’t expecting the actual ending, which I won’t say here to avoid spoiling it for you if you want to read the book.
The above issues being said, I was entertained, so I gave it a 3 stars. As for a recommendation to read it, I guess this would depend on whether you had a lot already on your TBR list. If yes, I would probably read the others first.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.