Raising Abel
W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O'Neal Gear
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Raising Abel
W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O'Neal Gear
500 pages
August 2002
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Dr. Veronica Tremain is staggered when she receives a call from the police informing her that her brother has been murdered. She is further horrified to discover that her brother, Dr. Scott Ferris, a leading anthropologist, had been tortured before being burnt to death. Police and FBI are baffled as similar incidents start occurring elsewhere and all the people being killed are one way or the other related to the field of genetics and anthropology. Who is behind all this? What is the purpose behind these highly efficient and professional hits? A woman who comes forward to shed some light on these seemingly unrelated murders is also gruesomely torched.

Veronica, herself a paleoanthropologist, is left with burning questions until she finds a mysterious message on her answering machine from her brother. Following his instructions, she goes to a certain cabin where she discovers her brother's colleague Dr. Bryce Johnson, a woman and her peculiar little boy who turns out to be Scottís young son, Abel. Soon after, assassins follow and the boyís mother is killed. The others barely escape with their lives. The chase is on, with Veronica, Bryce and Abel staying always just one step ahead of the killers. No one is able to protect them, not the police and not the FBI. Why are these killers after them? Veronica and Bryce desperately try to figure it out as a seemingly invincible adversary chases them. How does evolution figure into this equation? Is the church involved in it? Somehow young Abel is the key to it all and no one knows how or why.

Authors W. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear (Dark Inheritance; the "First North Americans" pre-history series) have written a tautly paced thriller which is an outstanding mix of fact and fiction, almost Crichton-ish in its intensity. Raising Abel is a gripping & disturbing journey into the darkest recesses of the human soul, tensely plotted and resonating with excitement. The plot is detailed with acutely fascinating scientific details (also explained in laymanís terms), and the outcome is totally believable. The portrayal of Abelís character in particular, is very perceptive and moving. That W. Michael Gear holds a masterís degree in physical anthropology and Kathleen O'Neal Gear is a former archaeologist not only lends credence to book but also makes it that much more authentic. A very well crafted and highly enjoyable book.

© 2002 by Rashmi Srinivas for Curled Up With a Good Book

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