W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear, international bestselling authors of Dissolution, present a gripping, thought-provoking contemporary thriller in the tradition of Michael Chrichton’s Jurassic Park. Here a project of cutting-edge genetics might lead to a better world—or a waking nightmare.
For thirteen years—since he became one of several scientists chosen to raise apes bred by the pharmaceutical giant SAC—Dr. Jim Dutton, his young daughter Brett, and the bonobo ape Umber have been a family. For Umber is far more than a subject or pet. She types, reads, speaks sign language, favors psychedelic clothes, and even contemplates the nature of God.
Then a colleague forces Jim to confront the reality he’s tried to ignore: Umber and the other SAC apes are too intelligent to be pure bonobos. They are “augmented” apes, more like early hominids than anthropoids. And when SAC abruptly demands Umber’s immediate return, it becomes vital for Jim to discover why the corporation created this new species.
The quest for answers will take Jim and his family to Africa, to a SAC facility that fronts as a preserve dedicated to helping once-captive chimps. But the grounds also hide a covert genetics lab, a missing band of blue-eyed apes, crude buildings decorated with skulls, and, deep in the shadows, human corpses savagely hacked to pieces...
Now the struggle to uncover SAC’s secrets becomes a fight for survival. Suddenly Umber, Brett, and Jim find themselves hunted by beings who are fiercely territorial, brutally aggressive, and far stronger than any human.
And like humans, they can be utterly, and murderously, psychotic...