Chromosome 6

Chromosome 6 by Robin Cook

Chromosome 6 is a prophetic thriller that challenges the medical ethics of genetic manipulation and cloning in the jungles of equatorial Africa, where one mistake could bridge the gap between man and ape–and forever change the genetic map of our existence…

I picked this up at a used bookstore several years and it’s been languishing on my shelf ever since. I think I might have read a book by him before, but I’m not sure as I can’t remember the title and only vaguely what it was about.

This book was super fast-paced and kept me reading, despite the occasionally cringe-inducing dialogue. Overall the dialogue was mostly okay, and certainly not the worst I’ve ever read in a thriller, but there were a couple places that really stopped me in my tracks.

The premise was interesting and especially how the two major threads of the story (one in New York, the other in Africa) eventually came together. I liked the science in it, especially since the genetic, forensic, and biological sciences were discussed a little more thoroughly than in your average thriller.

MILD SPOILER

That being said, I found it hard to believe the main character, Kevin, who works in genetic manipulation, was manipulating genes without thinking about what else was “on the short arm of chromosome 6”. I really couldn’t get behind that.

END SPOILER

This book is a bit older than some of the other thrillers I’ve read that deal with genetic manipulation and other such things. It was a touch dated in that regard….I think many of today’s thrillers really push the envelope on these topics. But it was enjoyable nonetheless. I would definitely recommend it, especially as something to pass the time. It kept me interested and I just wanted to keep reading it and not have to take breaks for sleeping and work and life in general.

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