“Any thought that Theo Cage could not repeat the thrill of his previous book was swept out of my mind as I read Splicer. The invention of a gene-splicing technique that promises everything is the premise of this fast-paced novel … The last third of the book literally had me staying up late to find out what happened as the non-stop action hurtled … toward a blood-soaked ending. Highly recommended.” Max Overton, author of the Amarnan King series.
“This was a fast paced novel with many twists and turns. Just when you thought you had things figured out, you realize you don’t. It keeps you on your toes … It has a little bit of everything: action, suspense, a little bit of romance. Basically there’s something in here for everyone. LibraryThing reveiwer
“Creepy! Suspenseful and even a bit scary! Loved it!” Amazon reviewer
The Story: A billionaire geneticist is found garroted in the parking lot of an exclusive business club. The prime suspect is a former employee who quickly lawyers up with one of the hottest criminal defenders in the city – pugnacious and troubled Janey McEwan. She soon becomes embroiled in a battle between a crack team of professional killers, the CIA and her penniless client – who she happens to be falling in love with. The deadly struggle is over a new technology called The Splicer – a desktop unit that would give users unprecedented power to manipulate DNA. In a matter of hours, a terrorist could build a new virus, create a deadly new disease or completely modify human engineering. With a few screen touches, it would be possible to create a monster with the potential to kill millions. The CIA calls this new invention the “Frankenstein app” – and they will stop at nothing to prevent it’s spread.
The story reaches it’s dark climax on a craggy mountain in the wilds of Canada – the doomsday retreat of a shadowy CIA legend – a place they call Ragnarock.
AN EXCERPT FROM SPLICER
You never know ahead of time what kind of day it’s going to be.
That’s how the man in the parking garage felt. Here it was about eight o’clock in the evening and he might as well be hanging from the ledge by his fingernails, counting down the seconds.
This morning, over coffee, he was thinking seriously about how he needed a new pair of running shoes – or something equally inane. Then boom.
You’d think these kinds of things – matters of mortality and death – would telegraph themselves to you – give you the big wake up call. Obviously all that psychic bullshit was just wishful thinking. If there was such a thing as intuition it should have hit him around noon, like a baby grand from eight stories up. But it didn’t. Not even a shiver.
He was standing now on the third level of a downtown parkade, behind an unpainted concrete support column, watching a man in a car pound at his driver side window with a wet fist. It was either wet with blood or perspiration, he couldn’t tell. He guessed blood. But he smiled anyway.
For the sake of a chronically weak stomach that was so jittery he felt the bile rise in his throat every time he so much as saw road kill, he definitely shouldn’t be enjoying this so much. But he was. Then he told himself, wiping his lips, it was the smell that always set him off; not the sight of something disemboweled, even if it was only imagined, like an orange blur on the highway at passing speed. But this particular death he was witnessing, a human sacrifice of sorts, and well-deserved, had the promise of coming off totally odorless, masked by the stink of a decade of diesel fumes, most of it pricey Audi and Benz exhaust.
The Toronto Presidents Club, perched above the parkade, had an annual membership cost of about twenty five thousand dollars. So an over-priced hunk of German automobile just seemed to go naturally with the place. There were dozens of them in rows. He imagined members sucking up the oily exhaust the way a connoisseur might nose a fine sherry. Then he put his hand up against the cement and watched a man being garroted with a thin piece of wire, a man with enough money to buy a thousand Mercedes.
He wished he could see the billionaire in the car more clearly. He watched him thrash about in the front seat of his Chevy Volt. He could be sitting in a Rolls Royce or a loaded Tesla if he wanted to. He could afford to drive anything. But Ludd just thought cars were extravagant and wasteful. That was one of his many well-known idiosyncrasies.
For the moment the billionaire appeared to be struggling half-heartedly. The man watching in the dark had a suspicion he was distracted by how easy it was to slice through skin and cartilage with a fine wire. Like party cheese. And look how neatly a finger became detached. Again this was typical of the billionaire’s analytical nature; always, even to the end, trying to work a buck out of chaos.
The watcher saw him kick once weakly, fight for air which wouldn’t come, his mouth open like a fish on a hook – then kick again, feeling the wire cut deep into his throat with what must have seemed like icy persistence. Then he stopped, a stubborn kind of hesitation that surprised the murderer, as if his victim were gathering strength. As if he had all the goddamn time in the world.
But the guy doing the dying was thin and gawky and his murderer had no doubt that this job would go quickly and with as little fuss as possible. After all, he was a busy man. The killer saw the billionaire look down at his fingers, which were sticky with blood, and then he heard a grunt, a sound like air leaking out of something wet, like something had finally given in. Then everything seemed to be sliding away from the man in the front seat; the man with copious amounts of fresh blood on the front of his Wal-Mart dress shirt.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The billionaire reached up, felt his hands bump against the rubbery surface of the steering wheel. Then hesitantly, like a reluctant lover, he touched the warm ruin of his neck. Lights flashed somewhere in his head. Then everything faded.
Just last summer, a time that seemed decades away in the past, he had made the international Who’s Who, bought an obscenely expensive new home, ten thousand square feet of glass in the Beaches that filled him with nervous guilt. And The Financial Times just last week guessed that his shares in the company he owned were worth over a billion dollars. Imagine that. A billion. Not bad for a guy from the north end. A guy whose dad used to manufacture dentures out of a broken-down little shop on the edge of Chinatown.
Now he’d give it all up for one lousy breath of parking garage air.
His last thought wasn’t of his wife, his growing business, or his Japanese Yen languishing in foreign money accounts – but of Kim Soo. Exotic Kim Soo and her long buttery thighs, tiny anxious mouth, tattooed breasts.
And he puzzled over this, struggling to martial his impressive mental resources to these curiously wicked images. Then he thought of nothing again.