Book Review: Mark of the Beast by: Adolphus A. Anekwe

Publisher: Forge Books

Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: Mark of the Beast: A searing medical thriller by Adolphus A. Anekwe, a renowned doctor, about the ramifications of isolating a gene that causes violent behavior.

Dr. Regina Dickerson is a Catholic physician in San Diego who has discovered that there is a certain genetic marker that indicates the carrier is prone to psychotic violence. Working on blood from prison inmates, her theory begins to prove itself time and again with violent offenders. The variety of crimes is diverse: one couple murders their children for organ money, another man kidnaps young girls to seduce and kill them, yet another has a penchant for cyanide. 

As Dickerson's work begins to show results and catches the attention of the media, people begin to fear that witch hunts and Spanish Inquisition–style mayhem will result if forcible testing is carried out. Meanwhile, a race begins to find a cure. With science and religion at odds, Dickerson must find her own answers while trying to escape those who want to put an end to her inflammatory research.

Review: MARK OF THE BEAST is an interesting combination of medical science and the Book of Revelations. Scientists have discovered a genetic marker which shows a clear indication for a predisposition toward psycho- and sociopathic behavior. Undertaking an unusual and unapproved study on prison inmates, Dr. Regina Dickerson’s theory begins to show promise. Once the media gets wind of this test and their results, the debate about the ethics of mandatory testing rages to a fever pitch. MARK OF THE BEAST has an excellent concept and, even though the characters aren’t compelling, the book itself is very interesting. I think MARK OF THE BEAST a good representation of how much social, ethical, and religious conflict there is in the United States. MARK OF THE BEAST is a quick read and brings up some thought-provoking questions for the reader.

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