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10.06.2013

The Militant Genome ~ Review


The Militant Genome 
by Braxton DeGarmo

The Militant Genome is a action packed story that looks at an often ignored "dirty little secret" of America's past that as this book points out isn't really in our past.  Having not too long ago come across a newspaper article (from 1915) discussing the Eugenics laws that were becoming quite prominent in the early 1900s. Yes, that's right Eugenic laws in the USA (which I didn't have discussed in any US History class or book, by the way).

Bring this mindset into the 21st century with our advancements in science especially in the medical field and you get The Militant Genome.  Imagine that instead of just denying people the right to marry and have children during the dawn of the 20th century lawmakers could have instead wiped out of existence anyone deemed unsuitable by means of genetic manipulation.  Would they have used this weapon of genocide?

Well, the Colonel (not his name) the man behind the Missouri White Alliance (MWA) has no such compunction and is willing to use his influence in the field of genetics to create a weapon that will create what in his opinion is the "solution to the world's biggest problems."

When a young man is murdered in the hospital and he is linked to a murdered foreign diplomat, racial tensions quickly rise to the breaking point in St. Louis.  Doctor Sarah Wade and Detective Seamus O'Connor are caught up in the chaos when a rogue member of the MWA decides to make a statement by kidnapping Sarah's best friend Della Winston, a woman who could identify the killer!  

All too soon it is a race against time to stop an act of genocide on American soil.  But someone is determined to silence anyone who may have information that can stop this act of terror.  

Braxton DeGarmo has created a believable bioterror-thriller that will keep you up into the wee hours of the morning with the refrain of "Just one more chapter and then I'll put it down" going through your head.  But that one more chapter will never come until you get to the last page and hope for a sequel.  

I was provided a copy of this book by TBCN and the author Braxton DeGarmo in exchange for my honest and fair review.

About the book:
A master gene for race? Geneticists say such a thing doesn't exist. However, the Colonel, founder of the Missouri White Alliance, has devised a genetic weapon capable of devastating dark-skinned peoples globally. He is only weeks, maybe days away from implementing his viral version of racial cleansings "final solution." There's only one threat to his plan -- a hotheaded member of the MWA has become the target of a nationwide police search for murder and the kidnapping of local celebrity Della Winston ... and the unwanted attention risks bringing federal scrutiny to the previously unknown white supremacy group. Sarah Wade, MD, has enough stress as a senior Emergency Medicine resident. She never expected that her discovery of a murdered medical student would inadvertently jeopardize her career. Or that the next-day murder of a Nigerian diplomat would lead to the kidnapping of her best friend, Della Winston. The cascade of events pull her -- and Seamus O'Connor, the detective assigned to the high-profile medical center murder -- into a life-threatening conspiracy of murder, kidnapping, and rising racial tensions.

"The Militant Genome" is a medical thriller set is St. Louis and written from a Christian worldview. Woven into the story are themes about the evil of racism, the threats of biotechnology, and one's eternal destiny. The story begins as Sarah Wade, MD, a senior resident in Emergency Medicine, takes her Advanced Trauma Life Support credentialing course and discovers that her surrogate patient, a medical student, is a real stabbing victim. Sgt. Seamus and his partner draw the case and begin their investigation. Within twenty-four hours, Sarah's life is turned inside out -- her career is threatened by false charges from the pompous, egotistical Chief of Trauma; a visiting Nigerian diplomat is murdered outside a popular restaurant on the riverfront; and the only witness to see the killer's face, Sarah's life-long best friend, Della Winston, is kidnapped outside a local club. Meanwhile, from across the country, the events in St. Louis are being followed with concern by the Colonel.

He is part of a university medical research team presenting their work on Alzheimer's Disease to a major symposium. During the day, he has helped discover a major breakthrough in the cause and potential treatment of the disease. Outside the lab, he leads a previously unknown white supremacy group, the Missouri White Alliance, based in the Ozarks. With his like-minded technicians, they have found a way to re-engineer a promising treatment for the skin cancer melanoma into a viral weapon that attacks dark-skinned peoples. By combining that virus with a virulent strain of influenza, he hopes to cause worldwide racial genocide to honor his grandfather, a Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard during his life, and to avenge the murders of his wife and daughter at the hands of black home invaders. However, he has received word that the man who killed the diplomat is not just one of his men but his nephew. The intense police and federal investigation into that killing threatens to unveil his group and derail his plans. The story explores the issue of racism not just via the major plot line about racial genocide, but also through the unexpected relationship that develops between Sarah and Seamus. She is African-American and he is as white and Irish as they come. They have their Catholic backgrounds as common ground, but nothing more. The potential threat of biotechnology in the wrong hands should be apparent. The definition of genome is "a full set of chromosomes; all the inheritable traits of an organism." The genome is God's blueprint for life. Leave it to man's "tinkering" to lead to trouble. The theme of eternal destiny becomes an important turning point in the story. Let's not spoil it by giving away anything more.



About the Author:
Braxton can't lay claim to wanting to be a writer all his life, although his mother and seventh grade English teacher were convinced he had what it would take. He went to Duke University, earned a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Engineering with a major in Bio-Medical Engineering, and found his way into medical school at the University of Cincinnati. Following a residency in Emergency Medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center, he served tours as the Chief, Emergency Medical Services at Fort Campbell, KY and as a research Flight Surgeon at Fort Rucker, AL. Who had time to write?

By the late 1990's, his professional and family life had settled down, somewhat, and his mother once again took up her mantra, "Write a book. You're a good writer." Yet, with no experience in writing anything other than technical articles, he hesitated to try his hand at fiction. That changed in 1997 when the local newspaper held a writing contest for Valentine's Day. Out of 1100 entries, he made it to the top five finalists and realized that maybe he could write fiction after all.

The next ten years saw him learning the craft of writing through local writers' groups, seminars, critique groups and more. "The Militant Genome" (©July 2012) marks his first formal publication. "Indebted" (©January 2013) is now out,and "Identity" will be released later in the spring of 2013.

Fifteen years after that first hesitant start, he can't find enough time to write as much as he'd like. He now lives in Missouri with his wife, Paula. Their two children are grown and with three grandchildren nearby, "Papa" wears a number of hats.