Book Review: The Immortalists

When his daughter Susie was diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder known as progeria, brilliant research biologist Dr. Richard Draman strayed from his promising career and devoted himself to finding a cure. Progeria causes its young victims to prematurely age so quickly that most victims don’t make it to their teenage years and is rare enough that obtaining the money needed to fund research is a constant struggle. Shortly after the apparent suicide death of an equally brilliant biologist Annett Chevalier, her husband gave Dr. Draman the thumb drives from her computer. Dr. Draman quickly realizes the groundbreaking importance of the material on the drives are nothing less then the key to a potential progeria cure but his life quickly goes down the toilet before he can capitalize on it.

Despite his wife’s concerns about his mental health, Carly agrees to leave their home in secret to show up at the door of an old acquaintance. After calling a trusted friend, the couple leave their daughter behind before boarding a private plane. As Dr. Draman reviews the recent strange coincidences, he convinces the pilots to make an unscheduled stop, dropping the couple off on a small island. When they witness the plane explode shortly after takeoff, Carly realizes her husband’s fears were justified. What ensues is a came of cat and mouse with the “cat” funded by unlimited resources, determined no one should have the keys to potential immortality but themselves and if innocents have to die along the way, so be it.

For a medical thriller, this gets off to a slow start before settling into a reasonably even pace with an interesting if unoriginal storyline. The ailing child, penniless good-guy and evil mega-corporate giant, all the usual stereotypes are here which could be forgiven if the characters were just a bit more original. That’s not to say this is a bad tale, it’s just that some points stretch credibility while others are overused. If you are looking for a nice undemanding read with a medical subplot, this will do.

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