Reviewed by: Keith Nixon
Genre: Crime / Thriller / Noir
Approximate word count: 45-50,000 words
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Mark Wilson is a biology teacher in Fife, Scotland. He is also the author of four novels, his most recent being dEaDINBURGH. In addition Mark formed an independent publishing company in 2013 to publicise Scottish authors. The author lives in Edinburgh with his family.
You can learn more about the author at his website.
Gavin Ennis is a highly successful businessman and the saviour of humankind. Birth rates were in terminal decline after a virus affected people globally. That is until Ennis invented synthetic sperm, now in 2055 it’s the choice for couples. A small number of children are conceived naturally, but these offspring are isolated, alienated and looked down upon.
One of these natural children is fathered by Alex, whose wife is a drug addict, their marriage is on the rocks. Their son is the only good thing between them. Alex is a biochemist and when Ennis offers him a job it seems to be too good to be true. And it is.
The more that Mark Wilson writes the more his style strengthens and develops. In addition he’s one of those authors who seem able to seamlessly cross between genres. I’ve previously reviewed Naebody’s Hero (a sort of superhero thriller) and dEadINBURGH (a YA dystopian novel) both of which were strong in their own way.
With The Man Who Sold His Son Wilson takes another step forward with a thought provoking futuristic novel which leans heavily on biology. I’m a chemist myself, I don’t have the expertise that Wilson does, but it seems to hang together well.
Ennis himself is not the benefactor that he appears to be, in fact he’s downright nasty and the title lends itself to the man’s greatest crime. Through the story Alex’s tale comes to the fore, he faces up to his issues with his wife, but ends up in a greater bind, all for the love of his family, ultimately working for Ennis and trying, for a second time, to give life back to the human race.
Well written, compelling and pacy, this is a worthy addition to Wilson’s burgeoning portfolio.
Rating: ***** Five Stars