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Aug 11, Critical Mind rated it it was amazing. Murder Genes is an explosive piece of dystopian fiction. Dystopians tell the opposite tale of a perfect world, one where society, justice, and and political correctness has become scrambled bum-backwards. In Murder Genes, society has devolved to the point where one's genetic makeup can equal immediate arrest and imprisonment; a death sentence for most. For those who find this concept improbable, let me point to the author's interesting blog that follows the science of genetics and the role it pl Murder Genes is an explosive piece of dystopian fiction.
For those who find this concept improbable, let me point to the author's interesting blog that follows the science of genetics and the role it plays in deciding the sentence of criminals in our justice system, today. Many reviewers have mentioned the violence in Murder Genes, but let me preface by suggesting that if you liked the book Hunger Games where children are rewarded for killing each other and broadcast live to the world as entertainment, this novel is only a stone's throw away.
Then, if you listen carefully, somewhere in Chapter 5 the safety switch clicks off and Murder Genes blasts Games out of the kiddie pool to take the place as most riveting, most excruciating, most shocking, most breath-holding. If you're any sort of normal person, reading Murder Genes will elicit chokes, gasps, and small capillary bursting, pushing the envelope regarding what can be considered freedom of speech versus criminally punishable. The read is a hell-ride, and right when the reader recovers wits enough to continue reading, the author rewards with another bowel loosening scene that forces the reader to retreat somewhere private to judge the decency of the kind of person who could actually read on.
Swallow the self-judgement and muscle on, if you can. Because truth of Genes tells a painfully unapologetic moral story exploring the societal consequences of what individuals choose to believe. We humans are lazy creatures by nature. Without impossible obstacles or incredible pain, we rarely rise to our greatest potential or feel compelled to make the most difficult decisions.
Latter-day Saints families speak out about abuse they say their children faced. The teens behind Mike Gravel's unorthodox bid for president. Rural hospital closures leave residents with few options: 'It's a fight every day'. Legal challenges could go on for years, possibly even all the way up to the Supreme Court. Up until that point, the company had specialized in using anonymous DNA to mock up rough mug shots of unidentified individuals. Comedian releases novel inspired by his Irish roots.
The reader looking only for a wash of blood-drenched action may find themselves inadvertently trapped in the ethical crosshairs of their own reality. I suggest that the uncomfortable squirm we feel watching the characters of Murder Genes struggle in life or death choices only serve to light a fire under some of our own truths which normally float safely in the sea of inconsequential ideas.
Conclusion: Those uncomfortable with critical thinking should read at their own risk. Those pawing at the gate, claiming to seek ethical dilemma and lively controversy should bring a conscience and a night-light. Those squeamish at sight of blood should avoid this book, and tread carefully in life to make sure to never cut themselves. Rating: 5 stars, as a "recommended" read. And a rap across the knuckles for the bastard who must have thought himself cocky enough to tackle the subject matter, but most probably lost a portion of his soul to bring forth this novel.
Jun 13, Kennedy Brandt rated it really liked it.
Who am I? Who are we? Are we true, self-directed individuals, or mindless slaves to our inherited genetic makeup? Instead, it takes us to near-future world in a slightly alternative history in which one particular interpretation of such questions — that the capacity, or rather the inevitable compulsion — to murder has a genetic basis and thus can be screened, isolated In telling the story, and telling it as a proper thriller, it asks not just would one do to survive — and some of its answers are not for the squeamish — but what would one do to win?
Into the foreground, Aizen drops a father and son, both suspected of carrying the code and now isolated and fighting for their lives because of it. Anyone reading this book may understandably — but incorrectly — mistake Aizen to be one sick, twisted bastard. What he is, is a writer capable of taking appalling things that make his own skin crawl and exploring their whorls and depths with cold and curious eyes. There were times while reading it that I did turn away for a day or so, only to be dragged back in by the personal crises facing a father and a son — and, by extension, all of society.
Incidentally, Aizen has a blog dedicated to the key idea behind the story that serves as either a precursor or a supplement to the novel. Consider it a primer.
A DNA genetic variant that, some scientists propose, predisposes an individual to berserk violence. "Thus, it would be surprising if criminal behavior - particularly recidivistic crime - was not in some way influenced by genetic factors." Ishikawa, S., and Raine, A., & Adrian Raine. They have been studying violent offenders to see if they are driven by nature or nurture with interesting results.
Murder Genes, like much of the best science fiction, is therefore a cautionary tale for today. May 25, Chris rated it it was amazing Shelves: dystopian , death-games , splatterpunk. Every couple of years I read something that seems perfectly suited to my tastes, and this delivered. The first thing I would like to say is that this was absolutely savage.
In the future they have determined that genetics lead to a predisposition of character, and choose to ship everybody that caries the so called 'murder gene' into a large walled city. This associate, who became a secret witness at Barlow's trials, agreed to wear a hidden microphone to record conversation with Barlow in the hope he might make incriminating statements. Barlow was arrested on 23 June , about 18 weeks after the killings.
It lasted three weeks. Barlow pleaded not guilty to the charge of double murder. The prosecution's case was that Barlow went to the meeting with the Thomases that was arranged for pm on Wednesday, 16 February. It was not known for certain what the purpose of this meeting was. The meeting was entered into five diaries and was known to a number of people. It was disputed as to whether these prints were deposited whilst Barlow was tearing pages from the notepad. The prosecution alleged that was to destroy evidence of his appointment.
Central to the prosecution's case was that the CZ pistol Barlow disposed of at the landfill was the murder weapon. The prosecution alleged that Barlow made these alterations in an attempt to prevent the identification of the CZ pistol as the murder weapon. The defence asserted that the Thomases were murdered by a third, unidentified person who used a different weapon, probably a revolver  as bullet cartridges were not found at the crime scene.
This was supported by the fact that Thomas Senior was found to have residue containing metallic elements, consistent with having fired or handled a weapon in the three hours before his death. After deliberating for two and a half days, the jury decided that its members could not reach a unanimous decision.
Barlow's second trial began on 24 July In this trial the defence presented Robert Barnes, an expert from Melbourne , Australia, to challenge the prosecution. He testified that the bullets which came from Thomas Senior's body did not necessarily come from the CZ, but could have come from a large number of similar weapons.
Most other aspects of Barlow's second trial were substantially the same as the first trial. On 25 August, the jury retired to consider its verdict. Barlow's third trial began on 24 October During this trial, the prosecution presented an FBI expert, Charles Peters, whose test results showed that one murder bullet was unique and that the other three matched some of the bullets found at the landfill. Also known as the rage gene and even more commonly, the warrior gene because of the theory that persons with this gene would likely have been the most efficient: berserk warriors on a field of battle.
The murder gene , the theory goes, suggests that behavior and activities from infancy into childhood, and through adulthood, were not the products of free will as society defines this term because the individual lacked the ability to make non-impulsive, considered choices about his life's path. Authors Ishikawa and Raine suggest, in their article, that though then viewed by the courts as exotic evidence:.
Second, other, potentially less controversial fields of behavioral trait research have not only identified heritability in psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and reading disability, but also in personality traits such as political conservatism.