Dr. Erica Rosen is perplexed when she sees a young Chinese girl with blue eyes in her San Francisco pediatrics clinic. The girl’s mother, Ting, is secretive, and Erica suspects she has entered the country illegally. Later, Erica encounters Ting’s son and discovers he has an unusual mutation. Erica learns that Ting’s children underwent embryonic stem cell gene editing as part of a secret Chinese government-run program.

 

The Chinese government wants to murder Ting’s son to prevent others from learning about his unusual mutation and the secret gene-editing program. At Ting’s urging, Erica heads to China to expose the program and rescue the infant Ting was forced to leave behind, all while attempting to evade the watchful eye of the Chinese government.

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Publication date: January 7, 2021

REVIEWS

Unnatural is Book 1 in the 'Erica Rosen MD' trilogy and a fine medical thriller along the lines of Robin Cook. It considers Dr. Rosen's first investigative conundrum in the course of her practice when she observes a Chinese child with striking blue eyes and a secretive mother who seems afraid.

 

When she finds that the girl's brother harbors a genetic mutation as well, Dr. Rosen begins to suspect that more is going on than a possible illegal immigrant situation. She embarks on an investigation that reveals a secret Chinese experimental human embryonic gene editing program and the threat posed by a scared mother's children.

 

Dr. Rosen's ability to reconcile her role as a pediatric doctor with her evolving skills in thwarting not just the operations of a secret lab but an international plot enhances a story that is filled with intrigue as she visits China and immerses herself not only in a mystery, but Chinese culture and history.

 

There's also a welcome side dish of humor served at subtle points that melds nicely with the medical intrigue and cultural revelations: "As we drove through the wild streets of Beijing, our NASCAR professional spoke obsessively about the cars and the drivers he saw, constantly reminding us the motorists in Beijing showed terrible technique, which explained why there were no Chinese NASCAR drivers. I wondered if the real reason was the Chinese were simply too smart to drive around in circles all day."

 

Murder, genetic engineering, and Dr. Rosen's increasing involvement in not just solving a mystery, but becoming part of a process she barely understands, makes for an action-packed story that cements its riveting adventure with strong characters, hidden motives, and twists and turns readers won't always see coming.

 

This vivid read contains much food for thought as it exposes a Chinese plot to assassinate children and gain more dominance in the world through manipulating scientists and citizens alike.

 

Readers looking for a fast-paced medical thriller will find Unnatural a powerfully compelling story that sets the stage for more.

 

 

D. Donavan

Senior Reviewer

Midwest Book Review

 

A compelling and richly woven story, perfect for those looking for their new favorite thriller!

The UC San Francisco pediatric clinic is a lively and bustling facility where every sort of injury and infirmity has been seen, diagnosed and treated. That is, until the day a Chinese migrant named Ting brings her daughter in for an evaluation. The striking girl is truly an anomaly, bearing genetically impossible bright blue eyes. Dr. Erica Rosen presses Ting for information, but Ting is paranoid, evasive and overly protective of her family’s privacy. Things become more puzzling when Ting ends up in the ER with a wounded young son and insists that someone is trying to kill the boy. Shocking test results, a second attempt on the boy’s life and a missing phlebotomist are just the beginning of a riveting tale of government conspiracy, medical mystery and dangerous close-calls.

Unnatural is a flawlessly written medical thriller that focuses on a Chinese mother who will sacrifice everything to save her children. Erica is a bold protagonist who follows her instincts to some amazing discoveries. The narrative is driven by intelligent dialogue and a clever, yet heinous, plot. The cultural aspects between Ting and Erica feel authentic and the technical medical language is just complicated enough to feel genuine without becoming difficult to read. Deven Greene has created a truly gripping international thriller with just the right amount of humanity and compassion.  Unnatural, the first in the Erica Rosen MD Trilogy, is a compelling and richly woven story, perfect for those looking for a new favorite thriller!

J. Jackson

Indies Today

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