Jonathan Trigell - Genus (3 stars)

Jonathan Trigell - Genus

A dystopian thriller that falls short in its attempts to become something more literary


After dealing with child murder in Boy A and a rapist in Cham, for his third novel Jonathan Trigell expands the violence to a massive scale. Set in a dystopian future London, society is segregated along genetic lines: the biologically engineered Generich and the naturally conceived Unimproved. The narrative cycles through players on both sides of the divide as a serial killer targets the genetically disadvantaged and as the disparate strands are woven together in inevitable synchronicity the killings are revealed to be a front for more sinister crimes.

Trigell goes to great lengths to inject literary allusions and philosophical musings into a book which some writers would have been content to leave as a page-turner, with mixed results. The gradually thickening plot is handled with dexterity for maximum intrigue and the commanding use of description is almost obscene in its richness. However, the language occasionally oversteps into absurdity and literary references lack subtlety. Genus works best sticking to its roots as a laudable specimen of biopunk.

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