Author: Robin Cook
Publisher: Putnam / Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2003
Genre: Medical Thriller
6:30PM, Wednesday, February 20, 2002
One Year Later
It seemed to Daniel Lowell that the taxi had senselessly pulled to a stop mid-block in the center of M Street in Georgetown, Washington D.D., a busy four-lane thoroughfare. Daniel had never liked riding in taxis. It seemed the height of ridiculousness to trust one’s life to a total stranger who more often than not hailed from a distant Third World country and frequently was more interested in talking on his cell phone than paying attention to driving. Sitting in the middle of M Street in the darkness with rush-hour taffic whizzing by on both sides and the driver carrying on emotionally in an unknown language was a case in point. Daniel glanced over at Stephanie. She appeared relaxed and smiled at him in the half-light. She gripped his hand affectionately.
What could bring the enigmatic Shroud of Turin, a notorious southern senator, and a gifted, vigorously entrepreneurial researcher together? Religion, politics, and bioscience collide in the latest medical thriller from the master in the field.
Senator Ashley Butler is a quintessential southern demagogue, whose support of traditional American values includes a knee-jerk reaction against virtually all biotechnologies remotely associated with human reproduction. As the chairman of a subcommittee on health policy, he introduces legislation to ban a new cloning procedure that would take stem cell research to the next level. Dr. Daniel Lowell, the inventor of the technique, sees the proposed ban as a blow to his biotech startup, and to people poised to benefit from its promised therapies.
The two formidable egos clash during the Senate hearing, but the men have a common desire. Butler's hunger for political power far outstrips his purported concern for the unborn, while Lowell's craving for personal wealth and celebrity overrides ethical considerations for patients' well-being. Further complicating the situation is the confidential news that Senator Butler has developed a progressive form of Parkinson's disease, which threatens his political future and leads the senator and the researcher into a Faustian pact. After a perilous attempt to prematurely harness Lowell's new technology, the senator is left with the horrifying effects of temporal lobe epilepsy—seizures of the most bizarre order.
With a plot torn from today's headlines, Seizure is a cautionary tale for a time when politics clashes with biotechnology, when we are pulled into a promising yet frightening new world.