Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Book Review {{Blog Tour & Giveaway}} ~ Mark of the Beast by Adolphus A. Anekwe

Mark of the Beast
by Adolphus A. Anekwe

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (January 20, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765333686
ISBN-13: 978-0765333681

Mark of the Beast: A searing medical thriller by Adolphus A. Anekwe, a renowned doctor, about the ramifications of isolating a gene that causes violent behavior

Dr. Regina Dickerson is a Catholic physician in San Diego who has discovered that there is a certain genetic marker that indicates the carrier is prone to psychotic violence. Working on blood from prison inmates, her theory begins to prove itself time and again with violent offenders. The variety of crimes is diverse: one couple murders their children for organ money, another man kidnaps young girls to seduce and kill them, yet another has a penchant for cyanide. 

As Dickerson's work begins to show results and catches the attention of the media, people begin to fear that witch hunts and Spanish Inquisition–style mayhem will result if forcible testing is carried out. Meanwhile, a race begins to find a cure. With science and religion at odds, Dickerson must find her own answers while trying to escape those who want to put an end to her inflammatory research.

Roderick was finally getting the picture. “And we intend to prove just
“What do you need from me?” the congressman asked as he finished
his drink.
“We have requested federal help to start a pi lot project at the Kankakee Federal Prison,” Abramhoff said. “I was just wondering,” continued Abramhoff , “if the state of Illinois can champion this project. If the research pans out, imagine the national attention it can garner and subsequent federal funds it will attract.”
“Could you imagine what that would do for my career and for the
state government?” Congressman Roderick said. “You’d be responsible
for one of the greatest scientific, criminological breakthroughs of
all time.
“How do you perform this test again?” Congressman Roderick
“What test?” Abramhoff asked.
“This HLA thing,” Roderick said. “Do you draw blood, shine a light
in their eyes, urine test, or spit test?”
“Oh!” answered Abramhoff with a smile. “The project would involve
identifying the hard- core and most twisted criminals, and start
with them. We will draw their blood, isolate their leukocytes, identify
the antigen areas, and using chromatography, map out their HLA.”
“Too much technical detail for me,” the congressman said as he
dropped five dollars in the glass tip collection bowl. “Bottom line is
“Blood is drawn to find an area or areas on the HLA that may be
common to these criminals,” Abramhoff responded.
“And if you’re successful?” Roderick asked.
“Most likely develop a test for it,” Abramhoff said.
“Now help me again,” Roderick said. “What would the test do?”
“Well,” Abramhoff said, “with the testing, we can then identify individuals
who are predisposed or predestined to become criminals.”
“People who are predestined to become criminals . . .” Roderick
reflected. “Do you realize the implications of this both nationally and
“I do fully realize the implications, sir,” Abramhoff said with a certain
amount of authority.

 “Okay, I’ll see what I can do if I’m elected governor,” assured Roderick,
heading toward the ballroom.
“You’ll be elected governor, trust me on that,” Abramhoff replied.
“I will hold you to that,” Roderick said as he walked off with an aide.
Mr. Roderick won the election, and on January second was inaugurated
governor of the state of Illinois.
Two months after the inauguration, Dr. Abramhoff asked Sabrina
to place a call to the governor. Two hours after the call was placed,
the governor called back.
“Hi, Doc,” the governor began.
“Hello, Mr. Governor,” greeted Abramhoff . “Congratulations. I told
you that you would be governor.”
“Yeah, you did say that,” the governor said. “How is the weather in
“A bit chilly and windy, what else?” Abramhoff answered. “How is
the governorship going?”
“We are getting into it,” the governor said.
“Oh, by the way,” Abramhoff said, “do you remember our conversation
in Chicago about the HLA project?”
“Yes, I do remember,” answered the governor. “As a matter of fact, I
was talking to my health offi cer about you and your HLA theory this
morning, and he thinks that a meeting might be called for.”
“I’m all for that,” Abramhoff said, nodding his head in agreement.
“Where do you all want to meet?”
“We are scheduled to have a public health meeting in Chicago next
week to discuss the possible effects of a fl u vaccine shortage on the state and how to prevent it from happening again,” the governor said, “and I was just wondering if we can meet either prior to or after that meeting.”
“That would be great,” Abramhoff replied.
“Okay, then,” the governor said. “I’ll have my executive secretary
call yours to set things up.”
Sabrina scheduled the meeting for 9:00 a.m., an hour and a half prior
to the governor’s scheduled meeting with the health officers.

Mark of the Beast was an intriguing read to say the least.  The author has given a unique twist to the Biblical Revelations Mark of the Beast by using science and biology as a way to determine whether or not genetic markers determine whether someone is pre-ordained to become evil and in turn become a follower of the Devil.  Although this is a work of fiction, the author apparently performed some serious research in creating this story, and for that I applaud him.  This was a fast paced and fairly easy read that will definitely make the reader think outside the box.  In my opinion, this story would be somewhat like a prequel to the ever popular Minority Report in which 'Big Brother' knows that a person is going to do something wrong way before that person even thinks about doing something wrong.  This story also poses a serious question of "What if?". What if you were a law abiding citizen and just because you had the genetic marker that marked you as a bad person....you were always being watched and always judged for the rest of your life?

I kind of wished this book had less science and more details about what the government would do with the marked individuals, but regardless, this was an interesting read that will appeal to anyone who loves a good medical thriller.

ADOLPHUS A. ANEKWE, MD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Indiana University Northwest Medical Center, and is also an active staff member at five area hospitals, a Board Certified Diplomat and Fellow in two medical specialties, and an active community leader. He resides in Schererville, Indiana, and is the author of Mark of the Beast.

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