By Ken McClure
Charnwood Large Print, (2003)
Reviewed by Herbert White - June 6, 2005
The discussion on gene altered plants(GMOs - genetically modified organisms) has been a long and contentious issue. Overall, public opinion seems to indicate that most people do not want to eat gene altered foods, and most fear for the long term environmental and ecological damage that these crops might cause. Nonetheless, they have been widely grown in some of the most powerful countries, kowtowing to the influential and politically powerful biotech companies who stand to make billions if GMOs become widely used (which they have). Stealthily, these corporations have purposely been adding GMO modified foods into the food chain, and most often these foods are not labeled as GMOs. At other times, they have entered the human food chain unintentionally.
Ken McClure sets his unforgettable novel, Deception square in the middle of the controversy over GMO foods. In this story, Steven Dunbar, the invincible medical investigator is sent by the Sci-Med Directorate to a small village outside Edinburgh to investigate allegations that genetically modified crops are being grown on farms where none are suppose to be! In addition, the farm that was license to grown a GM crop is not growing the crop for which they were licensed to grow. At first Dunbar's investigation seems to be leading in the direction that the complaints are unfounded, however when he finds that his life has been placed in jeopardy due to his investigation, he knows that something is afoot. Now all he has to do is discover what - before he's killed.
Deception starts out as a common mystery story, but the pace quickly picks up and moves full-throttle into the realm of the medical thriller. Worse, several young men have come down with Weil's Disease, which is contracted from rat urine. Many of the locals fear that the increase in cases of Weil's Disease is directly connected to the growing of GM crops, and they are willing to do what it takes to destroy the crop in question. This in turn causes the farmer whose crops are in danger to hire thugs to protect his crops. As events begin to spiral out of control and violence is in the offing, Dunbar, and the villagers of Blackbridge, must race against time to discover the truth about the GM crops.
Tied up in this tale of GMO's gone bad, is a plethora of intriguing bad guys, nervous villagers who would not seem out of place carrying pitch forks and torches, and one scientist determined to ferret out the truth. This is a fast, and very good read that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you await the unexpected ending that McClure delivers with finesse. After reading this book you'll look differently at everything you eat, and you might well wonder, if that wheat, or corn, or cabbage, is still what it looks to be? Highly Recommended!
For a brief explanation on what a GMO is visit What is a GMO?. This page is part of the www.nature.ca website, where you'll also find information on how GMO's are created, used, and GMO labeling. This is a scientifically based, pro-GMO site, and it is available in English and French.
For an anti-GMO perspective, visit: GMO - Genetic Enginnering. They have a lot of links to other anti-GMO sites, as well as information about GMOs and genetic engineering, and they have information in a number of languages including English and German.
Deception can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft, the parent company of Charnwood Large Print.
Wildcard, by Ken McClure.
Tasked with investigating a possible Ebola outbreak, Sci-Med investigator Steven Dunbar discovers that this is more than just a horrific outbreak. Wildcards, people unrelated to the primary case, begin dying throughout England. It is up to Dunbar to discover how all these wildcards are related and to stop the epidemic before all of England is consumed. (Large Print)
Donor, by Ken McClure
A chilling tale of medical science gone tragically awry. Set in Scotland, Dr. Dunbar must discover if a transplant surgeon is intentionally giving patients the wrong organ - with predicably tragic results. (Large Print)