It’s a casual day off when Robert Finney dies of a sudden, catastrophic heart attack. Age 49. He’s the latest in a long line of Finney men who similarly died of massive, unexplained cardiac arrest, all before age 50.
Geoff Carter is a graduate student working on his Ph.D. with a passion for the genetic basis of heart disease. Carter is alerted to the unbelievably high death rate of adult males in the Finney family and plunges into a clandestine research project to protect what might be the medical discovery of the century.
But Carter is not alone in this pursuit. Finney’s widow (Robin), Carter’s thesis adviser (Dr. Trevor Smith), and some international players are also seeking to unravel a hidden medical mystery contained in a WWII cardiologist’s journal, The Kantz Journal. Only the combination of Carter’s research and analysis of cryptic data tables assembled in Nazi concentration camps have any chance of uncovering the killer gene taking the life of every male who inherits it. Carter enlists an expert in forensic medicine and encryption (Dr. Jill Adams), to team up and help him solve this monstrous enigma. At the same time, Robin. Finney and Dr. Smith are working together for answers to this mystery.
Two Mossad agents are covertly following both teams’ progress, while a German interested in Nazi letters seeks his own path forward to the Journal, a priceless Nazi artifact. All appears lost for the grad student with the professionals bearing down on Kantz’s data. But the tables turn when it is found that these results are phony. Carter’s team finds the authentic work and ties the decryption to DNA analysis resulting in the identification of a never-before known gene that is the most deadly genetic killer ever discovered. Carter’s final experiment before graduating confirms that Connor Finney, Robin’s sixteen year old son, indeed carries the killer gene. Carter obtains his Ph.D. and vows to find a way to save Connor from the same fate that just took his father’s life.
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About the Author
Doug Christie was formerly an Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (University of Minnesota) and then Director/Principal Clinical Scientist with a major healthcare company. He received a BS in chemistry from Southern Oregon University and a PhD in biochemistry from Washington State University. He has extensively published in the scientific and medical literature. The Kantz Journal is his first fiction work. He lives with his wife and two gray tabby cats in central Florida.