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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Equal parts speculative fiction and philosophical thriller, Kevin Guilfoile's riveting debut novel -- which chronicles a fertility doctor's highly unethical quest to identify a murderer -- asks the question: How far would you go to look into the face of your daughter's killer?
Dr. Davis Moore is one of the nation's leading experts in cloning and cloning ethics; but after his teenage daughter, Anna, is found brutally murdered and the case goes unsolved, his grief leads him to do the unthinkable. Although it's illegal to use DNA from a living human in reproductive cloning, Moore uses sperm taken from the crime scene -- the police inadvertently placed a vial containing the killer's DNA with Anna's belonging before returning them to Moore -- and uses it to help a young couple struggling to start a family. Moore secretly follows the birth and development of the cloned child, Justin Finn, in hopes of putting a face on his daughter's killer. As Justin -- a paradoxical child prodigy who was reading Plato by the third grade -- grows up, he becomes obsessed with the Wicker Man, a seemingly unstoppable serial killer stalking Chicago's West Side. With the aid of a popular interactive video game called Shadow World, Justin vows to catch the killer -- and find himself.
Unsettling, intensely thought provoking, and delectably creepy, Guilfoile's Cast of Shadows is one of those rare novels that will haunt readers' gray matter indefinitely afterward. Fans who enjoy science-based thrillers like Steven-Eliot Altman's Deprivers and White Devils by Paul McAuley will thoroughly enjoy this disturbing cautionary tale -- metaphysical manna. Paul Goat Allen