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Cain's Blood: A Novel Hardcover – September 3, 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition first Printing edition (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 147670404X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476704043
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like the best SF thrillers, Girard's promising debut is plausibly grounded in reality. Rather than clone the most gifted members of humanity, the U.S. military has chosen to fund a scientific program to create replicas of notorious serial killers of the last century, such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy, because that's where the money is. Such rampant cynicism doesn't sit well with Shawn Castillo, a former commander of U.S. Special Operations, who has been brought in to track down six teenage boys, all clones, who have escaped their birthplace, an institute in Pennsylvania, and taken three staff members hostage. Readers will hope that Girard, who gets the most out of his frightening idea, will continue this Michael Crichton vein in a sequel. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers will be publishing a YA version, Project Cain, simultaneously, told from the viewpoint of one of the teenage clones (see review, p. 71). Author tour. Agent: Peter H. McGuigan, Foundry Literary + Media. (Sept.)

From Booklist

This must be the highest-concept, most movie-ready idea of the year. In order to create the perfect aggression toxin, a biotechnology company working with the U.S. Department of Defense has been raising scores of children created from DNA of famous serial killers. Then ex-CIA assassin Shawn Castillo is called in to fix a little snag. Seems a few of the teen psychos slaughtered the staff and took off on a mission to liberate various oblivious killer clones from their adopted families. What follows is a tale of two road trips: one car jammed with the bloodthirsty teen clones of Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, etc., and another with Castillo and 16-year-old “Jeff” (a sympathetic Jeffrey Dahmer clone), who are following the trail of gory mayhem. Though Girard never fully gives in to the wildness of the premise (there is no psycho-on-psycho battle royale), this is nevertheless great fun to read, an updated The Boys from Brazil that ably mixes nature-versus-nature dilemmas with horrifying scenes of slasherdom. Girard’s tie-in YA novel, Project Cain (2013), tells the same story from Jeff’s perspective. --Daniel Kraus

More About the Author

Geoffrey Girard is an award-winning author writing thrillers, historicals, dark fantasy, young adult novels, and short speculative fiction for publications including WRITERS OF THE FUTURE and the recent Stoker-nominated DARK FAITH anthology. Born in Germany and shaped in New Jersey, Geoffrey graduated from Washington College with a literature degree and worked as an advertising copywriter and marketing manager before shifting to high school English teacher. Since, he's earned an MA in Creative Writing from Miami University and is the Department Chair of English at a private boys' school in Cincinnati.

Simon and Schuster will publish two Girard novels in Fall, 2013: CAIN'S BLOOD, a techno thriller, and PROJECT CAIN, a spinoff novel for Young-Adult readers.

For more information, visit

Customer Reviews

I just thought this book was a tad pretentious and hard to follow.
Mr. Girard gets us caught up in the story and the characters lives to the point that we actually hate to say goodbye to them when the book ends.
Geoffrey Girard's debut novel is a stunning thriller with a premise grounded in reality.
Scott E. High

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Kup on September 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was a little hesitant to read this as Mr. Girard happens to be my youngest son's English teacher, so how good could it really be? I am here to tell you, as a fan of all genre's, I had a very hard time putting this one down and finished it this morning after only a week. I wanted to finish earlier but work got in the way.

There is just enough science to make it easily believable and readable. The writing is effective and efficient, and the scenes that he paints with his words at times, almost literally grab you. Most of all, this one makes you think in a number of ways; not that this could actually happen (or is currently happening!), but also who are we as a species? What is the nature of right and wrong, good and bad? Don't get me wrong, this book does not do any hard core preaching, but the subtexts are extremely thought provoking and lead down interesting paths. Where should clandestine operations draw the line? Should they draw the line? Nature versus nurture with the added variable of predisposition. Are we truly able to master our desires and urges? The brutal truth of mankind and can it be any other way? I have been thinking about it all day, and will be for some time, even going so far as to discuss philosophy with my older son as I drove him back to college this afternoon.

A main fear from mine aside from "will this story work," (and it does) was, as I delved deeper into the story and closer to the back of the binding, "how is this one going to end." Will it be all neat, tidy and syrupy, or is it believable aside from the main story? My recommendation: read the book. You will not be disappointed.

Highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mike Benson on September 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Cain's Blood and absolutely loved it!! Others have provided a synopsis of the book so I won't repeat it, but here are my two cents...

Girard uses extremely well researched science to tell a story that delves into some very timely moral issues - ends justifying the means, individual rights versus the common good, good/evil. He takes these concepts and wraps them up in a tight, fast-paced thriller that will scare the begeezus out of you.

I am a big fan of Koontz and King and I absolutely consider Geoffrey Girard's 1st novel to be on a par with their work in terms of his voice and the sheer terror his writing evokes. But unlike Koontz and King, there are no make-believe ghosts and goblins in this one...only human nature and very real science. That's what makes Cain's Blood even scarier!! When you sit down to read this book, strap your boots on tight, 'cause it's a helluva ride!!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I heard about this novel's audacious high-concept premise several months before its publication. Marketing copy said:

"A terrifying debut novel about the evil in each of us: when clones of infamous serial killers escape from a secret government facility, it's up to a former Army Ranger to stop them... with the help of a teenage killer clone."

And I was basically like: You had me at `clones of infamous serial killers.' I mean, with a premise like that, it was either going to be unbelievably awesome or excruciating bad. Execution would be everything. And I am officially declaring Geoffrey Girard's debut thriller UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME. If Cain's Blood doesn't rocket to the top of the bestseller list in the land of Hannibal Lecter, well, there is no justice in the world of publishing. And, of course, there isn't, so who knows.

Okay, back to the story... Honestly, beyond the blurb above, there's nothing you really need to know. Well, I'll mention that teenage helper is an innocent, 15-year-old clone of Jeffrey Dahmer. Oh yeah, Girard's not playing around. This novel is a who's who of serial murder, with appearances by Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz, Ed Gein, etc. The gang's all here. As I stated above, execution is everything with a premise this bold. Mr. Girard starts things off provocatively by giving readers a prologue in the form of "A Brief History of Cloning" in which he writes, "Cloning humans, by the way, is still completely legal in the United States, everyone just assumes it's not." Uh, I certainly did. Mr. Girard has done his homework on everything from genetics to the differences between psychopaths and sociopaths:

"About one half of one percent of Americans could be diagnosed as sociopaths or psychopaths.
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Swystun on September 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Girard's premise of cloning serial killers served to both compel and repulse. Ultimately I surrendered to the former and after finishing the tale I am left with the same competing reactions. There is good action and a sweeping plot along with an attempt to explain the science a la Crichton. However, the book is a tad too long and, let's face it, trying to connect with an adolescent Jeff Dahmer is not exactly palatable. Also some may find the graphic killings disturbing.

I was surprised to find there is to be a Young Adult version especially when one of the cloned is Dylan Klebold of Columbine infamy. I am not a prude or sensitive in the slightest, yet the whole effort confounded me. I am as incredulous as the main character as to why this experiment would have been concocted in the first place. Girard argues that most of us are genetically predisposed to violence and that biological tinkering can tip the balance. It is very curious subject matter so if you like to be shocked, you will enjoy this read.
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