bookrev: The Silk Code by Paul Levinson
5 stars: LARGE ideas, excellent first novel
Paul Levinson mixes LARGE ideas, from Amish scientists manipulating genetics the old fashioned way, to immortality and worldwide encoded plagues and immunities. The novel focuses for the most part on Detective Phil D’Amato, who is trying to determine why seemingly healthy people, including some Neanderthal-esque folks, are keeling over to violent allergic deaths.
There is a detour that takes us back in time to Neanderthal’s, the Silk Road and some further clues. This break in the narrative threw me at first, leading me to see this first part as one short story and this as a second. But the last half of the novel moves quickly and pulls all of the ideas together nicely, while leaving events open for a follow-on story (I haven’t yet read the rest of Paul’s books, don’t spoil it for me!).
Excellent hard-core sci-fi, especially in describing the Amish scientists doing in-depth gentics without lab equipment. The lanterns are especially cool.
Skipping ahead to read Paul’s “The Plot to Save Socrates”, then back to the other Detective D’Amato books.