Davis Moore is a fertility doctor in Chicago specializing in reproductive cloning, a controversial and closely regulated new practice, when his 17-year-old daughter is brutally raped and murdered. The case is investigated but never solved. Months later, Moore retrieves her belongings from the police, and finds among them a vial containing the killer's DNA. Tormented by grief, Moore entertains a monstrous thought: the possibility of cloning not his daughter but the man who killed her. How far would you go to look into the face of your daughter's murderer?
Justin Finn, at three, looks like any other child. Bright, joyful, sweet; an innocent toddler to his unsuspecting parents and to all who know him. But his face, one day, will be the exact match of the cold-blooded killer of whom he is a perfect genetic replica. Can a three-year-old have a past? Where does evil come from? What happens to the soul when we die? What are you duplicating when you duplicate a human life?
Cast of Shadows is a spectacularly original, hair-raising novel about the fate of a little boy brought into the world to solve a crime. Relentlessly gripping, profoundly unsettling, and visionary, it introduces a major new suspense novelist.
©2006 Kevin Guilfoile; (P)2009 Random House
"Guilfoile's tricky, high-concept plot continually subverts and plays with the reader's expectations....Gripping." (The New York Times)
"Guilfoile's engrossing debut novel takes a high-concept look at the age-old but still provocative question of nature vs. nurture....The novel as a whole is rich and involving." (Publishers Weekly)
This book is so many things -- a science-gone-wrong story, a whodunit, a thriller, a personal drama. It starts off being a story about a doctor who violates his own ethics in an attempt to find his daughter's killer in the future...As such, it's not bad. The characters and their dilemmas are real and compelling. Still, you wonder -- how is he going to keep this going for the entire book? But THEN! The plot twists and turns and gets better and better and better. With all the pieces coming together perfectly -- and totally unexpectedly. I don't always like Scott Brick as a reader, but he is pitch perfect here. Giving it drama without being melodramatic.
The only reason I took one star off in the "overall" rating was because the first fourth or so of the book, while good, was not up to the last three quarters. Still, if you're looking for roller coaster entertainment, I most definitely recommend this novel.
I love it when I discover a new favorite author. Kevin Guilfoile is writing intriguing, intellectual thrillers that ask, "What if?" "Cast of Shadows" seems to be set in the not-to-distant future ??? or else in a slightly altered present ??? where reproductive human cloning is just coming into common use. It asks the question: "What if reproductive cloning were (mis-) used to catch a killer?" Guilfoile deeply and thoughtfully explores the potential ramifications and consequences of such technology. The earlier reviewer who objected to the "Christian theme" of this novel must not have listened to it for very long; because "Cast of Shadows" definitely does not have a Christian theme at all: only a sub-plot following the radical Christian right's violent reaction to the use of human cloning technology. In fact, the thread of this sub-plot, woven intermittently into the main story, stays entirely in the background until the very end, when it finally emerges to reveal a deliciously surprising plot twist. Any intelligent, thinking person will love this book. The narrator, Scott Brick, is a good actor with an unpleasant voice; but the story will soon have you overlooking this one small drawback. I am now listening to Mr. Guilfoile's next novel, "The Thousand," which is providing me with at least as much enjoyment as "Cast of Shadows" did. I highly recommend this author.
I hadn't read or listened to anything by this author before, but this is a terrific book. It poses interesting philosophical and moral questions wrapped around a compelling, fast-paced murder mystery with several unexpected turns in the story. I would love to read more of this author. Oh, and narration by Scott Brick is excellent as usual!
I am an artist, living in Cairns, Queensland, Australia right next to the Great Barrier Reef. I listen to audiobooks everyday while making art and on into the night. I really like mysteries with a good serving of suspense on the side that keep you wondering right to the end. However, I won't say no to any entertaining and well written book which has been read by an excellent narrator.
Kevin Guilfoile, you've got tons of talent; keep the books rolling off the press. I can hardly wait until the next one. You managed to keep a cast of numerous characters, plots and sub-plots tightly woven together and cohesive. The story was beautifully narrated by Scott Brick who sometimes over does things, but not this time. This book was definitely a thriller in every sense of the word. Well done!
Looking for good murder mysteries that don't consist mostly of cheesy love stories. Example of what I am looking for, J Deaver & JA Jance.
Excellent choice. Kept me glued to my ipod. New ideas and intriguing.
Scott Brice great reader and performer.
Hope I find more stories like this.
Hard to predict
No but Scott Brick narration adds to the dimension of the book
Although the general thread is engaging with all its twists and turns, and has a reasonable ending, the final third was a let down. The Shadow World game, which is full of holes and does not add anything to the story, was too prominent towards the end. The bit where the Shadows are dancing in the night club is just awful. One wonders if the author has ever used a computer game.
WOW - This was the best book I've listened to so far! So many twists and turns, so much to think about, so many interesting characters. I bought it to listen to while driving (downloaded to GPS), but ended up bringing the GPS into the house as I couldn't wait to hear what happened next! The word 'unsettling' describes it well... definitely one I'll keep thinking about for a long time. Wish the author would write another book. Super author and super narrator (Scott Brick). You'll LOVE it!!!!!
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook- I like a concept that makes me think and the nature/nurture debate is considered in an original and thought provoking way. I was gripped throughout and was not disappointed at the end as it still left me with much to think about. Would recommend.
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