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The Singularity/transhumanism trend in thriller fiction is now in full swing. I’ve reviewed several such books lately (Mind’s Eye, Singularity, Extinction, to name a few) and many others have crossed my desk.
RedDevil 4, a new hardcover release from major publisher Forge books, fits this hot new science thriller subgenre that dances on the edge of science fiction because most of these books are set in the near future. The authors all envision the arrival of technology that will allow us to alter the human brain and nervous system, and add computer elements to the biological ones.
Debut author Dr. Eric C. Leuthardt is better placed than most to get the science right. He is a neurosurgeon and biomedical engineer as well as a recognized pioneer in neuroprosthetics. He is widely published in scientific journals and is the director of the Center for Innovation in Neuroscience and Technology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he researches brain-computer interfaces. As an alumna of that outstanding medical school, I have to spread the word about his new book, which is also set in St. Louis.
RedDevil 4 by Eric C. Leuthardt. Near-future neuroscience thriller / mystery (2014). Summary from the publisher:
RedDevil 4 is spine-tingling techno-thriller based on cutting edge research from surgeon and inventor Eric C. Leuthardt.
Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Hagan Maerici is on the verge of a breakthrough in artificial intelligence that could change the way we think about human consciousness. Obsessed with his job and struggling to save his marriage, Dr. Maerici is forced to put his life’s work on the line when a rash of brutal murders strikes St. Louis.
Edwin Krantz, an aging, technophobic detective, and his partner, Tara Dezner, are tasked with investigating the horrifying killings. Shockingly, the murders have all been committed by prominent citizens who have no obvious motives or history of violence. Seeking an explanation for the suspects’ strange behavior, Krantz and Denzer turn to Dr. Maerici, who believes that the answer lies within the killers’ brains themselves. Someone is introducing a glitch into the in-brain computer systems of the suspects—a virus that turns ordinary citizens into murderers. With time running out, this trio of unlikely allies must face a gauntlet of obstacles, both human and A.I., as they attempt to avert disaster.