Prevention by J. C. Dashwood
Oliver Dalton’s job is to see patterns in DNA. His government has hired him, on a temporary contract, and his task is to analyse data from the National DNA database. The purpose, his government says, is to find persons who are genetically fit for jobs in science and technology. Such persons are very much wanted, and we do not consider it morally wrong to use DNA profiling to find them.
Oliver discovers that there are others who seem to have the same idea. He sees traces of searches, and pattern matches, done by someone other than himself, and he considers reporting his findings to his manager. What if this is an intrusion, he wonders, into our national storage of our complete population’s DNA?
Unknowing to Oliver, he is correct in his assumption. An external, in fact international, organisation has adopted the government’s way of classifying humans. But in contrast to Oliver, they have decided to instead search for persons who are not fit for science and technology.
“And when we know who these persons are,” they reason, “we could of course take it one step further and seek them out. And since their contribution to real, measurable, advances of our society is as good as none, what would be wrong if we instead chose to eliminate them?”
The organisation refines its plans while Oliver spends time in Munich, visiting his daughter and celebrating his own birthday. His wife is with him, and they look forward to a week with museums and visits to their daughter’s school. She is a student of Drama, and like her brother Michael, who is an opera student, she has chosen the artistic way.
When the organisation finally decides how to carry out their mission, by shifting their focus from elimination to prevention, Oliver is busy with his work. When Oliver is informed that his daughter is in danger, and the police steps in, this is not an end, but rather a beginning, of an even more complex situation.
As the final plans are set into motion, the police and the Dalton family do what they can to track down the organisation. Will they find out how, and where, and by which means of distribution, the organisation will reach their targets? And what will the eventual crime charge be? How can we charge for a crime that wants to “eliminate whole generations, without harming, or killing, a single person?”
And will the Dalton family itself, with its artistic traits, be selected as a target?
“Hitchcock meets Michener – in a modern world”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Annika
This is a book about selection, using DNA profiling to find the ones who are not fit. It features Oliver Dalton, and his family, and we are invited to follow them, starting with a celebration of Oliver’s birthday in Munich. As the story unfolds, we learn that an external organisation is monitoring DNA databases, for the purpose of selecting, and in their own way – eliminating the persons that are not genetically fit for a productive and technologically advanced society.
It is written as a thriller, and even though there are several parallel tracks, I kept turning the pages. Often, the timing was just right – I was wondering about a certain character, and there he or she was, again, as a new section or chapter started. The writing is suspenseful, and it made me think of Hitchcock movies, where there is an underlying feeling of suspense without resorting to action-filled scenes.
I learned a lot, as well. There are passages about DNA and genes, and about science and computers, and there are passages with irony and humour, and officers of the law with high ambitions, but not always capable of being at the right place at the right time.
I really recommend the book if you want a well-written thriller with a touch of science, and food for thought regarding DNA profiling and its possible use – both now and in the future.
About the Author
What if we could single out the unproductive?
Some people may want to ponder this question, and some people may also want to do something about it.
An organisation, headed by its Leader in collaboration with the man known to them as the Treasurer, has been formed, and their goal is to create a better society. They will do it using DNA, and they will use DNA patterns for selecting the ones who are fit, and suitable, and have the talent for science and rational reasoning.
They will do it while our protagonist, Oliver Dalton, continues his ordinary life, with a permanent job at the University and with a temporary assignment at the Department of Education and Societal Health.
He has been hired, by the Department, and his task is to see patterns in DNA, using the national DNA database as his data set. His world interleaves with the world of the organisation and their Treasurer, and it affects Oliver and his family, in ways that they had not anticipated.
The organisation refines its plans while Oliver spends time in Munich, visiting his daughter and celebrating his own birthday. When the organisation finally decides how to carry out their mission, by shifting their focus from elimination to prevention, Oliver is busy with his work. When Oliver is informed that his daughter is in danger, and the police steps in, this is not an end, but rather a beginning, of an even more complex situation.
As the final plans are set into motion, the police and the Dalton family do what they can to track down the organisation, and charge them for a crime that will “eliminate whole generations, without harming, or killing, a single person.”
Author Bio: J.C. Dashwood lives in the northern hemisphere. If you ask him, he will tell you that his real name is Ola and that he lives in Stockholm, Sweden.
He wanted to be a writer a long time ago, and he wrote two short suspense novels on his father’s typewriter when he was ten years old. Then his life happened, and he became an engineer and a researcher. But now he is back into writing, and the first novel, called Prevention, is released.
“Prevention by J.C. Dashwood is a contemporary novel combining politics, government, and science set in the modern world,” says one review from Reader’s Favourite.
Moreover, it is a “fast-paced modern thriller. The plot is well executed and the writing is crisp and engaging.”
The review continues, telling us that the novel is about a man we know as Oliver Dalton, and that his job is to find patterns in DNA. There are others who want to do similar analyses, but for less honourable purposes, and “as the plot thickens” we will “find out that an international organization is interested in DNA profiling as well, but their reason for doing it is the opposite: instead of using it to select people for projects, they may be using it to ‘eliminate’ people. What follows next is a thrilling plot as the police get involved and Oliver and his family race against time in their hunt for the mysterious organization.”
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