Books : reviews

W. Michael Gear, Kathleen O'Neal Gear.
Dark Inheritance.
Warner Books. 2001

A secret genetic experiment

Dr Jim Button and his daughter, Brett, are raising Umber, a bonobo chimp bred by pharmaceutical giant SAC. But Jim is slowly realizing that Umber, who reads, types, and even contemplates theology, is too intelligent to be a “normal” ape—and more closely resembles one of humanity’s as ancient ancestors. When SAC abruptly demands Umber’s return, Jim and Brett are compelled to discover why.

A chilling legacy

Their quest leads to a SAC facility in Africa, where they discover a covert genetics lab, crude buildings decorated with skulls…and human corpses, savagely hacked to pieces. A project to genetically “augment” apes has worked too well—and gone hideously wrong. Now Jim, Brett, and Umber are trapped in the jungle, hunted by beings who are brutally aggressive, brilliantly inventive, and far stronger than any human. And like humans they can be utterly, and murderously, psychotic…