Two Harvard graduate students donate eggs to an infertility clinic run by a maniac who is into cloning humans and removing ovaries from unsuspecting donors.
This report prepared by Leona Lee
The story revolves around two female Harvard grad students who devise a plan to answer an advertisement by an infertility clinic for egg donors. They are going to use the payment($45,000 each) to fund a trip to Venice to work on their thesis and to buy an apartment in Boston. They do the procedure and receive their money, go off to Venice, both write their thesis, and return a year and a half later. However, Joanna can't stop wondering about what happened with her donor eggs and whether they turned out to be viable. Her friend and roommate, Deborah is mildly interested so they set out to find out something, anything. They end up taking jobs using aliases and disguises in hopes of getting access to the computer files of the clinic. Their search turns up alot more than they bargained for when they discover research that raises many ethical questions. They discover things involving cloning, stealing of ovaries, murder, abortions to further stem cell research, experiments involving human dna and animals. They are chased and hunted by the clinic staff until finally putting their trust in the wrong man. It is only by the outside intervention of Joanna's former fiance that they are found and saved (we presume they are saved at least).
This report prepared by Aimee
Putnam, Sept 2001, 24.95, 384 pp.
The only thing keeping roommates Deborah Cochrane and Joanna Meissner from getting their doctorates from Harvard is writing up and turning in their thesis. They learn that the Wingate Fertility Clinic is willing to pay them forty five thousand dollars each for donating eggs so a couple can have a child. They agree to do so partly for humanitarian reasons and partly so they can buy a house and then rent it out while they live in Venice for the next year, completing their thesis and having fun.
Upon their return to the United States both women want to know if their eggs were used in vitro fertilization to produce children. When the clinic claims confidentiality, the two women assume new identities, change their looks and accept jobs working at the clinic. The plan is to hack into the computer records before disappearing into the night. It doesn't take the bright inquisitive pair long to realize there are some strange things going on at the clinic and not all of them related to the standard fertility techniques. They decide to find out just what exactly is going on, an action that could kill them if they are not careful.
SHOCK is an exciting medical thriller centering on cutting edge technology experiments conducted by people who want to milk a cash cow (no offense to the cow). Robin Cook's work is so frightening because the technology exists today for these experiments to be carried out by unscrupulous, unethical people. Mr. Cook's complex characterizations are brilliant, as all the people populating the novel seem real. It's easy to say SHOCK is going to be on every bestseller list.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner