A cellular biologist kidnaps his granddaughter in order to save her life with an experimental treatment. When eight-year-old Angela is diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, her parents are emotionally destroyed. But so is her grandfather, the 70+ cellular biologist Luke Abramson. A cranky genius with a worldwide scientific reputation, he is convinced he can save his granddaughter with a new treatment that has yet to be tried on humans. When Angela's doctors and parents refuse his suggestion, he kidnaps her and heads off to find a safe place for her treatments. He also convinces Dr. Tamara Minteer to accompany Angela, in order to help Luke with the treatments.
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Angela's parents involve the FBI, who track the trio to a clinic in DC run by a friend of Luke's. They barely escape and Luke is forced to call Quinton Fisk, a billionaire drug manufacturer who has provided grants to Luke in the past. Fisk agrees to help, in exchange for the future rights to any treatments created by Fisk. Because it isn't just the cancer treatments Luke has been working on. He also has developed a related treatment that might reverse aging. And since he's on the run, Luke decides to try it on himself.
Fisk finds a hiding place for the trio at a mansion owned by a Louisiana drug distributor. They begin to treat Angela and her tumors are disappearing. But she's also developing signs of Progeria, a disease which rapidly ages children. At the same time, the White House hears about the treatments and they worry an expanded lifespan could destroy the economy. Luke, Tamara and Angela escape to Oregon, where a former student of Luke's runs an exclusive clinic. Angela's tumors are gone and once Luke stops the treatments, she returns to norma. His treatments are also going well, with Luke looking thirty years younger.
The FBI and a representative from the White House arrive and take the trio to a secluded Army base where the treatments will continue. They are prisoners, but Luke uses his new-found youth to scape long enough to send a series of messages to friends and colleagues. The government is forced to release him and Luke and Tamara go to work for Fisk. As for Angela, she seems to be 100 percent cured of cancer.
Best part of story, including ending:
The science behind this idea is pretty compelling. It seems like an idea that could work and in a future that isn't that far away from today.
Best scene in story:
The sequence in which Luke makes his way over the Army base fence and stays ahead of his pursuers long enough to get a cell phone connection and send his incriminating emails.
Opinion about the main character:
It's refreshing to see an older hero in a book like this. Granted, he gets younger as the book progresses, but it's great to see someone who can use their experience and wisdom to outsmart much younger (and stronger) opponents.