Chimeras: Track Presius, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
A Readers' Favorite Book Award Winner!
Haunted by the girl he couldn't save in his youth, and the murder he committed to avenge her, Detective Track Presius has a unique gift: the vision and sense of smell of a predator. When a series of apparently unrelated murders reel him into the depths of genetic research, Track feels more than a call to duty. Children are dying - children who, like himself, could have been healthy, and yet something, at some point, went terribly wrong. For Track, saving the innocent becomes a quest for redemption. The only way he can come to terms with his dark past is to understand his true nature.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 54 minutes|
|Author||E. E. Giorgi|
|Narrator||D. Joseph Fenaughty|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||November 24, 2014|
|Publisher||Elena E. Giorgi|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #462,200 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#2,521 in Hard-Boiled Mysteries (Audible Books & Originals)
#6,901 in Police Procedural Mysteries
#20,107 in Hard-Boiled Mystery
Top reviews from the United States
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This writer has a fertile mind and is also a good researcher. For example, at one point in the story she mentions the National Crime Information Center, also known as NCIC. For most readers that is a "ok, no big deal", especially in todays world of crime drama shows on TV promising instant results. For me, on the other hand - I first became aware of NCIC in the mid 70s when my professional job (in Information Technology - to use todays terms) had me dealing with various government entities, including Cities, Counties and State ... and in those years the NCIC center was beginning to allow other government computers to be connected for the ability to make inquiries. I was in New Orleans in 1974 when they demonstrated one of their systems to me ... and in the process did an NCIC inquiry about me. Was I ever so glad that it was negative. In 2005 I made a couple of trips to where the NCIC computers are located to do some work with them. Thus, when I read that short sentence many memories came back in my mind.
I usually don't read a lot of mysteries - but this is where I'm making an exception. She has gotten me hooked.
Ulysses “Track” Presius is a LAPD detective and a chimera. (In the appendix to the book, I learned there are two kinds of chimeras and that turns out to be significant.) In simple terms, a chimera is an individual where ancient predator genes in our DNA are “woken up” through some kind of systemic shock. In Ulysses’s case, the most noticeable trait is his heightened sense of smell—and the source of his nickname, which is short for “tracking dog.”
Track’s sharp senses, especially smell, are both a plot point and a unique way to show your story. Check out this scene where Track is handed one of the victim’s dirty T-shirts sealed in a plastic bag:
The Huxley woman was either a vegetarian or ate very little meat. She exercised regularly. If she had a boyfriend, she hadn’t seen him the day she wore the T-shirt. Enough for one sniff. I closed the Ziploc, got up and left.
Smell is probably the most underused sense in fiction, but not for Giorgi.
The medical mystery was well-paced and littered with little procedural details that make this kind of fiction both fun to read and feel authentic. I loved how Giorgi took her time to draw out each scene—unusual for this kind of novel, and reminiscent of James Lee Burke. I’m sure this kind of exposition drives some readers nuts, but I loved it.
And then there’s the science! I can’t remember the last time I read a fiction book that had an essay at the end on the science behind the story, in this case an explanation of chimeras. That part alone was worth the read.
A solid contribution from a new indie author. Recommended.
Philip Marlowe used street smarts and cunning.
Track Presius uses the gift of a genetic anomaly—an animalistic sense of smell.
All three combine their unique gifts with keen observation. Their special abilities enhance their observational skills to amazing and unheard of levels.
Author E.E.Giorgi has created a character whom readers will want to get to know better. (The second book in the series, Mosaics, is now available.) Presius is the kind of man, that if I were a woman—wait, that was Louie’s line from Casablanca.
Track does have a great line regarding his love interest, “anything smells good on her.” This from one who can discern a person’s lunch from yesterday by their breath today.
Giorgi’s thorough research will appeal to readers who enjoy authentic police dialog and behavior, healthcare, and scientific research. The author presents technical information in easy to understand language. We first became familiar with eugenics (from the early 1900’s) in Crichton’s State of Fear and Giorgi explores it in a 21st century California setting. Is it “mad?” Miriam Goldberg (our favorite muse) says, “All science is ‘mad’ until it starts to make money.”
Chimeras is characterized by detailed descriptions of settings, especially aromas. Vivid and thought provoking metaphors enhance the reading experience by placing the reader into the settings. We find the two most important words for today’s e-book readers are, “The End.” Chimeras is the exception.
I grew tired of Track describing every little odor in the universe. I didn't need to be hit over the head with this repeated information to get the point.
I also felt, perhaps wrongly, that there were too many characters. I found them hard to keep straight and this distracted from the storyline.
The basic premise of the book is interesting, but due to so many distractions a re-write could be in order.
Top reviews from other countries
LAPD detective Track Presius is an epigenetic chimera: ancestral genes grant him the heightened senses and the instincts of a predator (which comes in pretty handy being a cop). When a missing persons report turns into a series of multiple murders, Track and his partner Satish find themselves faced with a challenging puzzle. All victims seem to be connected to a genetic research company – and to a study about children suffering from leukemia.
I'm a big fan of the Chandler-like hard-boiled style and Giorgi uses it magnificently, with Track being the self-loathing kind of a first-person narrator. I can understand if the many descriptions of L.A.'s traffic, buildings, places feel a bit long and tiresome to some readers; for me, they paint a vivid picture of life in Southern California. Track's enhanced sense of smell literally adds a whole new dimension to his – and therefore to the readers – perception. Satish's delightful moral lessons and insights are a brilliant accessory, making the story seem even more true-to-life.
CHIMERAS is not a futuristic science novel: The story is set in 2008, the science is realistic. Being a scientist herself, Giorgi of course knows very well what she is talking about. But she also knows how to present the scientific facts in layman's terms, without ever being dull or over-explanatory. She's also invested a lot of time and effort in researching police procedure – the story clearly benefits from it.
As much as I love science thrillers, there's one major problem I have with a lot of them: the conclusion often feels rather contrived and OTT. Not in this case. When everything finally clicks together, when all the parts of the puzzle fall into place, it seems like the only logical solution. The perbs, their motives – everything makes sense and feels believable.
So, overall a really delightful discovery, and E.E. Giorgi is yet another author to watch.