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Chimeras is the first book in the Track Presius series by E. E. Giorgi. It is also the author’s debut novel. I received the book from the author with a request to read and review, and as it is a first in a new series, which means that I don’t have to read any previous ones to catch up to, I was happy to.
I do have to put the negative right up front: after a few pages, I almost gave up on the book. I was reading and not understanding what I was reading. I put the book down and picked it up the next day – and boy I’m glad I did. After the first rough few pages, I literally ended gulping up the rest to see what comes next. So if you start the book and get to the same hickup, just keep at it, soon it will be so worth it!
And now for the good part.
The investigation in Chimeras follows a series of deaths related to a particular company involved in genetics. Ulysses (Track), a Los Angeles detective and his partner Satish Cooper have to deal not only with the deaths, but also with a dozen children dying of leukemia. What is the connection between these and what do they all have in common with the rich and famous?
Teamed up with Diane Cooper, the DNA specialist, they try to sort out all the quirks of the case and get to the bottom of the killings and the medical research involved.
Track has a special ability: his extreme sense of smell and his super sharp vision. He can see perfectly in the night – just like a jungle predator, and he can feel a person’s scent minutes before said person enters the police precinct.
Track is not his real name, but his friends and colleagues nicknamed him as such due to his talents. Why bring a cadaver dog when Track can smell a dead body from far away? And why even use forensics when he can easily feel a person’s odor on a discarded piece of clothing – not only that, but he can feel a third party that the person was recently with as well.
As the story unfolds, we are getting bits and pieces of his past, how he became the way he is now, and what he went through over the years. He is regularly visiting a geneticist with whom he is trying to solve the very case that is himself: why he is like this, and what makes him really different from all the other folks around him.
Track is an intriguing character, which I can well imagine being played by one of the Hollywood actors at some point. The book itself would translate well into a great movie!
I also loved Satish Cooper, his partner, and chuckled more than once as I was reading some of his old family stories of him growing up in India. Adorable stories – all with a morale that Track was eager to learn. Satish is a real fun character to read about.
Diane Kyle, the third main protagonist is the DNA specialist that they use to solve the weird cases. As we read the pages we soon get to enjoy the strong attraction between Diane and Track. The prose where the author describes what Track feels when Diane is around him is mesmerizing. It is truly amazing what his super evolved senses can make him feel.
The police procedural was well executed and it all tied up nicely at the end, which was not a major surprise for me as we were lead along with Track to the only viable conclusion. That doesn’t meant that there weren’t any edge of your seat moments – there were plenty of those and my heart stopped for a second more than once while reading.
However where the author really shines, in my opinion, is the descriptions and the character development. The prose is really good and now I’m looking forward to learning more about Track and how he is dealing with his predatory nature.
Overall I loved this book, and hope I’ll have a chance to read the second one in the series as well when it’s published.