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From the moment Hans Brinker zips over a Swiss mountain pass and sees a black van angled across the road in front of his speeding BMW, it is almost impossible to put this book down. Craven intertwines suspense, mystery, and romance masterfully. Hans Brinker's love interest, who was talking with him on his cell phone when he disappeared, literally crosses the world to find him (on Vieques Island). "Fountain Society" is a masterful tale of a government conspiracy that goes terribly awry. Even the scientists involved in the project are not completely in the loop. It is that hush-hush. Years before, a Navy doctor on Vieques had gained a reputation as a miracle worker among enlisted couples unable to bear children, who had tried everything else and failed. Unknown to the couples, he was actually combining DNA from his fellow scientists with the women's eggs and essentially cloning his colleagues, who also did not know he was doing it. Now, years later, this former Navy doctor is part of a government project known as the "Fountain Society." Using research on animals and captured terrorists, the group has made a huge breakthrough, and there is the sudden realization that maybe those clones created as a lark over twenty years ago, of scientists who are now old and dying but who are still indispensible to the government, would make good new bodies for them. The group never considered one of their own becoming a problem, however, a danger to the project who would need to be dealt with, and who is now on the run. I found this book while running an Ebay search on Vieques, a small island off Puerto Rico where I spent much of my youth. A considerable part of "Fountain Society" takes place there, and Wes Craven either knows the island or really did his reseach. The only error I noted was the reference to the ruins of a seven-story lighthouse when arriving by ferry. The lighthouse is there, and it may be seven stories high if you count the cliff it sits on, but it is a two-story building, including the light tower. Regardless, other places on Vieques where the story takes place, including the bioluminescent bay, the Marine and Navy bases (which were dismantled ca. 2003), and more, are remarkably accurate and interesting reading. But the plot of this novel, and its mystery and romance, make it excellent even if you've never heard of Vieques. It also takes place in Switzerland, Miami, Cuba, and New Mexico.
Wes' First novel
Wes Craven did indeed write this book himself. Peter is a weapons scientist and Beatrice, his wife, is a neurobiologist; both work for the US Government. Beatrice is a member of a team looking for the secret to immortality, Peter is dying of cancer, & mr. Brinker is missing! Clones, Brain transfers, murder. The tale is familiar, but it is good for a first novel. willtrib - EasyCityBooks NOLA