The Curiosity

Morrow. Jul. 2013. 432p. ISBN 9780062221063. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062221087. F
OrangeReviewStarDr. Kate Philo, searching the Arctic Ocean for "hard ice"—ice that has not melted during the short Arctic summer—hopes to recover flash-frozen mammals such as the mammoths occasionally found in Siberian permafrost. One night she and her scientific team strike unexpected gold: the body of a man frozen deep in the ice. They take the corpse to Boston, where Kate's boss, Erastus Carthage, will try to reanimate what he labels "Subject One" of his Lazarus Project. Amazingly, he succeeds and Judge Jeremiah Rice, whose last memory is of falling overboard into the ocean during a 1906 storm, is brought back to life. But news about the project and Jeremiah raises a tempest of ethical controversy and protests. Mixed with the cutting-edge science (with greed naturally raising its ugly head) is a love story that flowers between Kate and Jeremiah. Recognizing the judge's fragile humanity, Kate strives to introduce him to 21st-century Boston and New England. During their outings, their mutual attraction grows, set off against the imperfections of Jeremiah's reanimation.
VERDICT This debut by an award-winning journalist (Last Rights; Authentic Patriotism) is a compelling, beautifully written, and thought-provoking literary thriller that will call to mind Daniel Keyes's classic Flowers for Algernon. [See Prepub Alert, 1/14/13.]
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