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Cast of Shadows: A Novel Paperback – May 23, 2006
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, I didn't have to get very deeply at all into CAST OF SHADOWS before I realized that this debut novel is quite like the house of one of the characters in the story: much, much bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside, full of twists and turns and corners and surprises. The aforementioned physician, Davis Moore, is a sympathetic character --- his teenage daughter is murdered --- but he's not entirely a likeable guy, kind of sanctimonious, full of self-justification, and content to follow rules until he has a reason to break them. Moore uses his medical practice as a vehicle to exact revenge. One can understand the concept of revenge, especially in a case like this, but there isn't exactly full disclosure exercised here with respect to Moore's patient or to the resulting life in being, at least not initially. Moore keeps track of Justin Finn, the cloned child. And yes, indeed, he comes to resemble someone very, very twisted.
But this is more than a tale of rough judgment and exacted revenge.Read more ›
So that's how I have the book in my hands.
For the first 100 pages or so, I found the story of fertility specialist Davis Moore, his murdered daughter, his slipping marriage and slow-fuse relationship with an attractive female colleague, and his hope-against-hope plan to clone his daughter's murderer slow going but plausible, with cloning, its politics, and its ethical and religious implications interestingly evoked and explored. Strangely, as the pace picked up and little Justin Finn's development is chronicled, the book began gliding into implausibility - in Guilfoile's near-future Chicago, pace and plausibility seem inversely related. There were more key coincidences than a Dickens novel, more than a fair share of character-motivation issues, and an epic 20-year time span that seems disproportionate to the book's preoccupations, which, although weighty, are distinctly less than epic. This is, at bottom, a futuristic murder mystery.Read more ›
The setting of this psychological thriller is in the near future when human cloning is legal. The cast of characters includes Dr. Davis Moore, a Chicago fertility doctor specializing in reproductive cloning and his teenage daughter, Anna Kat. Sam Coyne is a successful young Chicago lawyer. Justin Finn is a clone and Martha Finn his mother. Mickey the Gerund is a religious fanatic doing the Lord's work for The Hands of God. And Sally Barwick is the detective who unravels secrets.
After Anna Kat's brutal rape and murder, Dr. Moore breaks the law and creates a clone from evidence found at the crime scene. The book progresses around the fate of this young boy, Justin Finn, and lives of the people affected by the two crimes. Undercover, Moore observes his creation, waiting for the day his daughter's killer's face will become realized.
But things aren't what they seem. Through an intricately woven original plot Guilfoile creates a fast paced gripping thriller that keeps the reader guessing up until the final shattering pages. This is a must read.
Later in the book when the action has really heated up I suddenly took notice that all of the style I had expected was showing up clearly in every paragraph - wonderful thoughts and very subtle asides on the nature of difficult subjects - so carefully placed in the story as to blend in completely. A mature approach from someone who's got the smarts to show off if he wants to.
Of course the story itself is a tour de force and like a good indi movie I couldn't wait until my wife finished it so I could test out some of my theories on several character's motivations and ultimate fates.
I think this is a great debut and can't wait to see what comes next.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An interesting story. It kept me guessing - my kind of book.Published 10 months ago by Edward S Worst
I loved it... I got the audible edition and it was about 18 hours long but worth every minute of it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by M. Scholze
What drew me to this novel was the contemporary theme which was so vividly described that it stayed in my mind once the novel ended. Read morePublished on January 17, 2012 by michael a. draper
I read a lot of thrillers. This is one of the most gripping I've read in years. It combines elements of the best of Michael Crichton, Michael Connelly, and perhaps Robin Cook. Read morePublished on July 24, 2011 by T. Stroll
This book by Guilfoile is a very interesting read. The thesis is certainly new and fresh, because a cloned child is in the mix of motives and themes. Read morePublished on December 8, 2010 by J. Robert Ewbank
I found the book suspenseful, surprising, creative and thought provoking. At times I had some difficulty following the various storylines, but it was well worth it. Read morePublished on September 15, 2010 by Beatrix Potter
I bought this book when it first came out based on reviews in the Chicago Tribune, which praised it quite highly. Read morePublished on August 31, 2009 by S. D. Beallis
Even though I'm a little late to the party (this book came out a few years ago), I'm very happy I found the time to read the debut from Kevin Guilfoile. Read morePublished on December 20, 2008 by William F. Aicher