Davis Moore is a fertility doctor in Chicago specializing in reproductive cloning, a controversial and closely regulated new practice, when his 17-year-old daughter is brutally raped and murdered. The case is investigated but never solved. Months later, Moore retrieves her belongings from the police, and finds among them a vial containing the killer's DNA. Tormented by grief, Moore entertains a monstrous thought: the possibility of cloning not his daughter but the man who killed her. How far would you go to look into the face of your daughter's murderer?
Justin Finn, at three, looks like any other child. Bright, joyful, sweet; an innocent toddler to his unsuspecting parents and to all who know him. But his face, one day, will be the exact match of the cold-blooded killer of whom he is a perfect genetic replica. Can a three-year-old have a past? Where does evil come from? What happens to the soul when we die? What are you duplicating when you duplicate a human life?
Cast of Shadows is a spectacularly original, hair-raising novel about the fate of a little boy brought into the world to solve a crime. Relentlessly gripping, profoundly unsettling, and visionary, it introduces a major new suspense novelist.
©2006 Kevin Guilfoile; (P)2009 Random House
"Guilfoile's tricky, high-concept plot continually subverts and plays with the reader's expectations....Gripping." (The New York Times)
"Guilfoile's engrossing debut novel takes a high-concept look at the age-old but still provocative question of nature vs. nurture....The novel as a whole is rich and involving." (Publishers Weekly)
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"Original to a fault"
This book is so many things -- a science-gone-wrong story, a whodunit, a thriller, a personal drama. It starts off being a story about a doctor who violates his own ethics in an attempt to find his daughter's killer in the future...As such, it's not bad. The characters and their dilemmas are real and compelling. Still, you wonder -- how is he going to keep this going for the entire book? But THEN! The plot twists and turns and gets better and better and better. With all the pieces coming together perfectly -- and totally unexpectedly. I don't always like Scott Brick as a reader, but he is pitch perfect here. Giving it drama without being melodramatic.
The only reason I took one star off in the "overall" rating was because the first fourth or so of the book, while good, was not up to the last three quarters. Still, if you're looking for roller coaster entertainment, I most definitely recommend this novel.
"I've discovered a new author!"
I love it when I discover a new favorite author. Kevin Guilfoile is writing intriguing, intellectual thrillers that ask, "What if?" "Cast of Shadows" seems to be set in the not-to-distant future ??? or else in a slightly altered present ??? where reproductive human cloning is just coming into common use. It asks the question: "What if reproductive cloning were (mis-) used to catch a killer?" Guilfoile deeply and thoughtfully explores the potential ramifications and consequences of such technology. The earlier reviewer who objected to the "Christian theme" of this novel must not have listened to it for very long; because "Cast of Shadows" definitely does not have a Christian theme at all: only a sub-plot following the radical Christian right's violent reaction to the use of human cloning technology. In fact, the thread of this sub-plot, woven intermittently into the main story, stays entirely in the background until the very end, when it finally emerges to reveal a deliciously surprising plot twist. Any intelligent, thinking person will love this book. The narrator, Scott Brick, is a good actor with an unpleasant voice; but the story will soon have you overlooking this one small drawback. I am now listening to Mr. Guilfoile's next novel, "The Thousand," which is providing me with at least as much enjoyment as "Cast of Shadows" did. I highly recommend this author.
Kevin Guilfoile, you've got tons of talent; keep the books rolling off the press. I can hardly wait until the next one. You managed to keep a cast of numerous characters, plots and sub-plots tightly woven together and cohesive. The story was beautifully narrated by Scott Brick who sometimes over does things, but not this time. This book was definitely a thriller in every sense of the word. Well done!
"The shadows were too present"
Although the general thread is engaging with all its twists and turns, and has a reasonable ending, the final third was a let down. The Shadow World game, which is full of holes and does not add anything to the story, was too prominent towards the end. The bit where the Shadows are dancing in the night club is just awful. One wonders if the author has ever used a computer game.
"Riveting intellectual thriller"
I hadn't read or listened to anything by this author before, but this is a terrific book. It poses interesting philosophical and moral questions wrapped around a compelling, fast-paced murder mystery with several unexpected turns in the story. I would love to read more of this author. Oh, and narration by Scott Brick is excellent as usual!
Excellent choice. Kept me glued to my ipod. New ideas and intriguing.
Scott Brice great reader and performer.
Hope I find more stories like this.
"No justice in this book"
I bought this book because of all the overwhelming reviews applauding the performances of the writer and the narrator. I was disappointed almost from the first paragraph. The author has a bad habit of not introducing his subject before writing about it. It takes him as many as a dozen sentences to introduce his subject and by then your are totally confused about who or what is happening. Finally, when the story gets going you realize that you are the audience for a soap box issue, 'abortion' camouflaging as cloning. I won't give away anything here if you choose to read this complete waste of time but be warned this book does not end well and you may feel foolish that you spent sixteen hours and eleven minutes to no good conclusion.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!!
Scott Brick was not up to his usual standards. The author made it difficult to individualize the characters and Mr. Brick did nothing to help. At times I was unable to distinguish between the female and male characters. He did nothing to heighten the suspense what little existed and in places he completely flattened the drama. I don't think he was any more interested in this book than I was.
This was an amazing book! Great story line, characters were full of life and easy to care about, and the plot twists! Don't even get me started on those plot twists!!!!
Unfortunately, there is only one other book by Guifoile... This is a seriously good writer!
Scott Brick, as narrator, does an exceptional job on this book. I've listened to him many times, and although a few times he grated on my nerves, he read this story perfectly! It could not have been done any other way.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys an intriguing plot-twister you won't be able to put down.
And the ending! Ah, the ending...
"A Hard-to-Put-Down Science-Driven Thriller!"
I would definitely recommend this audiobook to a friend - particularly any one of them who likes a good thriller. There are so many threads woven through this story, you have to pay attention while you're listening, or you might miss something. The writer's interweaving of these threads is masterful - bravo!
The plot really kept me on the edge of my seat. Because the subject matter and the plot is complex, I found myself looking for alone time and excuses to listen uninterrupted. Human cloning and the possible consequences are going to be an inevitable discussion in the future. Hearing the future novelized, with so many of its possible outcomes - even those that are truly unthinkable - is positively mesmerizing.
I haven't heard any of Scott Brick's other work, so I have nothing with which to compare it. That said, his performance of this particular book is very (very!) well done, and he manages to read all the different characters' voices spot on. He does a great job with female characters - he doesn't make them sound ridiculously falsetto or "cartoonish," which is one of my peeves as a listener.
I absolutely wanted to listen to the entire book in one sitting, but because I buy only unabridged books, and because I have a life, it was impossible. I definitely looked forward to the times when I could pick it up again, in between.
I hope Kevin Guilfoile will write more books along these lines. It has been great to hear a book with this depth, both of plot and characters. Guilfoile is extremely talented, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this work. Again - bravo!
"Excellent Thriller with unexpected twists and turn"
The story is a blend of the psychological thriller and weaves in the concept of cloning the whole concept of alter ego in the world of gamers - around these cores the consequences of questionable ethics and the blurring of reality between computer games and real life, a really engaging thriller unfolds. The story unfolds from the participants view not from a police viewpoint. Excellent read! and you keep guessing all the way!
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook- I like a concept that makes me think and the nature/nurture debate is considered in an original and thought provoking way. I was gripped throughout and was not disappointed at the end as it still left me with much to think about. Would recommend.
This was a very clever story this poor doctors life is turned upside down when his daughter is murdered he clones dead peoples cells to help couples to have kids of their own,but he goes a step to far this time trying to catch his daughters killer just fantastic how this story goes but it will keep you guessing who did this and the twists at the end is awsome
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