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About the Author
Jane Robinett Hegre worked as a dental hygienist for twenty-five years. When she wasn’t at work, she was indulging in her creative side as a potter, making beautiful and unique earthenware for her loved ones. For nearly ten years, she worked with her husband and coauthor on The COUSINS: Chimera. She died before she could see it released.
O. D. Hegre is a former professor of cell biology and neuroanatomy at the University of Minnesota. Prior to retirement he continued his biomedical research program in the private biotech industry. He cowrote The COUSINS: Chimera with his late wife and is publishing it as a tribute to her.Hegre also writes speculative fiction stories, which have been published both in print format and on the Internet. He lives in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona with his wife, Mileva, and two dogs, Maggie and Millie. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- Publication date : August 16, 2016
- Print length : 313 pages
- ASIN : B01KJ7JRL6
- Word Wise : Enabled
- File size : 799 KB
- Publisher : The Woden Group; 1st edition (August 16, 2016)
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1534985921
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Language: : English
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,682,257 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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In the beginning of the novel, we are introduced to Kathy, a dental hygienist, who regularly provides her compassionate services at an assisted living facility. No need for facelifts, the rejuvenating blood of the aged keeps Kathy young and attractive. This chimera thrives by helping herself to immunologically different blood, until she breaks the rule by feeding on a young person. That act initiates a disastrous downward spiral.
Three men are in pursuit this youthful chimera named Kathy. One is Jim Richardson, the Deputy Sheriff of Pima County, who doesn't abandon his girlfriend when he discovers that she practices hematophagia. The sheriff's acceptance does not seem so implausible when you discover that you too empathize with the half-human and half-other woman who is trapped between two worlds. The second pursuer is a Dr. Mark Edwards, a world renowned hematologist, who realizes that the regenerative factor in the vampire's salivary glands will be a priceless therapeutic commodity. The third pursuer, Girard Negrescu, is a suspiciously young Romanian whose motives for connecting with Kathy unfold over the course of the novel.
While Anne Rice fans will be pleased that some of the action takes place in France, this vampire resides in the unlikeliest of places, sunny Green Valley, Arizona. An alarming number of murders indicate that this is not your typical, sedate retirement community. Characters indulge in just enough red wine to keep the other addictive red liquid ever foremost in your mind. Vampire-like foreshadowing throughout the novel increases the tension and makes you question the real identity of every new character. Consider how this bar patron is introduced: "She smiled and leaned forward opening her mouth. She stretched the lush red vermillion border of her upper lip and ran her index finger along the bright while dentition. Then the woman jutted out her jaw and tapped along the lower band of sparkling teeth, her eyebrows rising with each tap." (262)
The chimera, who live for centuries, are able to read the minds of mortals, including the old who want to die. So too can the omniscient authors delve into the minds of all their characters. The tension in the plot increases as the writers reveal those motives sparingly over chapters.
"Cousins: Chimera" gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "blood relative." While cousins figure heavily into the plot, so do uncles. Dr. Edwards, the hematologist, who wants to capture the substance which makes vampires live more than ten lifetimes, is motivated in part to save his uncle, Dr. Johnson, Kathy's boss. Yet another more nefarious uncle is really pulling everyone's strings.
Time in the courtroom paid off for Scott Turow, while Dr. Orion Hegre "cut his teeth" in an anatomy lab. The laboratory process of creating chimeric DNA, or DNA created by the combination of at least two strands, sparked his imagination. His now deceased wife, Jane, kept his creative fires burning. He accessed his extensive background in hematology to establish a level of verisimilitude unexpected in Gothic fiction. If you want reality in fiction, you are in for a "hypovolemic" shock. But if you want to suspend your disbelief, this intriguing blend of science and folklore is the read for you.