Forge, August 2003, 25.95, 336 pp.
Once the Scullys were a happy family of four, the parents practicing medicine in Nogales when tragedy struck. The son went blind from what Jake believes is an environmental factor. Subsequently, the police find the dead wife's body and rule it a suicide. Jake believes she was murdered. Jake moves his family to Seattle and goes to work for GenChrom.
Research shows that Jake's son's blindness is caused by damage to the G31 gene but the mutated G32 gene (as proven in experiments with dogs) if injected into damaged DNA material will allow his son to see. The only problem is finding the G32 gene and to do that Jake and his employer must travel to the Amazon rain forest and locate a blue-eyed tribe that might have the gene in their DNA. The trip is an eye opener to Jake as he sees what happens to the native populations when ruthless corporate types who not only bend the laws but also break them, approach them. Jake's ethic's places he and his family in danger from a person who sees people as disposable commodities.
PATENT TO KILL is a fascinating medical thriller on a par with the works of Robin Cook. Readers experience the beauty and danger of the Amazon jungle in counterpoint to corporate America's thirst for money treating bio-piracy as if they wee committing a trifling offense, that is when they even care. April Christofferson keeps the reader interested by never letting up on the action but also creating a moral hero, one who is it is easy to care about though he to easily resolves his dilemma of his son's need and the tribal situation.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner