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Perfect People [Paperback]

Peter James
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (474 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Jun 2012

John and Naomi Klaesson are grieving the death of their four-year-old son from a rare genetic disorder. They desperately want another child, but when they find out they are both carriers of a rogue gene, they realize the odds of their next child contracting the disease are high.

Then they hear about geneticist Doctor Leo Dettore. He has methods that can spare them the heartache of ever losing another child to any disease - even if his methods cost more than they can afford.

His clinic is where their nightmare begins.

They should have realized that something was wrong when they saw the list. Choices of eye colour, hair, sporting abilities. They can literally design their child. Now it's too late to turn back. Naomi is pregnant, and already something is badly wrong . . .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (7 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144720316X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447203162
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (474 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter James was educated at Charterhouse and then at film school. He lived in North America for a number of years, working as a screen writer and film producer, before returning to England. His multiple award-winning, Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling novels have been translated into thirty-three languages. His writings reflect his deep interest in medicine, science and the world of the police. He has produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. He also co-created the hit Channel 4 series Bedsitcom, which was nominated for a Rose d'Or. Peter James won the Krimi-Blitz 2005 Crime Writer of the Year Award in Germany, and Dead Simple won both the 2006 Prix Polar International award and the 2007 Prix Cœur Noir award in France. Looking Good Dead was shortlisted for the 2007 Richard and Judy Crime Thriller of the Year award, and has been shortlisted for both France's SNCF award and Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policère. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill in London and Sussex.

Product Description


Peter James is acknowledged as being one of the top thriller writers in the UK, and his series of crime novels featuring DI Roy Grace are the best of the current genre. But in his new novel PERFECT PEOPLE he has proved he can depart from the formula and break the mould.
It gives a vividly detailed description o f the process involved in creating a genetically modified baby. A young couple are grieving over the death of their four-year-old son from a rare genetic disorder. They desperately want another child, but fear it might inherit the same disease. From the moment they meet the sinister geneticist who offers to create a new child from their cells, the pages just keep on turning themselves. The ending is so horrifyingly scary that I was unable to sleep properly for several nights. --Joan Collins picked PERFECT PEOPLE for her Book of the Year in this week's Mail on Sunday

Book Description

Genetically modified babies are born and the next step in evolution is made. Mankind is facing its greatest challenge: obsolescence.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
222 of 230 people found the following review helpful
The first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover: It looked eerie and intriguing. Perfect People is a stand-alone thriller which was a perfect place for me to start with Peter James' books as I have yet to pick up one of the Roy Grace series (which I now intend to do).

According to the blurb, this book has been 10 years in the planning. When the idea first came to James about writing a book about designer babies, it was just that - an idea. Now it is a reality. That makes reading this book all the scarier - we may just be looking at our future.

John and Naomi Klaesson live in California and have lost their 4 year old son to a rare genetic disorder which made them watch him die a slow and horrible death. Still young and desperate for another child, the Klaesson's opt for paying a huge sum of money to geneticist Dr Leo Dettore who has promised them that he can prevent this child from being born with the same disorder that killed their son. What soon become apparant is that Dr Dettore can also offer them so much more scope in "designing" their next child.

This book poses so many questions and will undoubtedly make you think about what you would do in the same situation. Being faced with the option to make your child more empathetic (but would that make them a playground bully target?) or allow them to survive on only a few hours per night like many CEOs and politicians do (but would that mean that they may have sociopathic tendancies?) what would you decide? These are the dilemas that also face the Klaessons when going through page after page of tick-box options. The Klaessons are normal people, they have normal jobs, they live in a normal house and they only thing they really want is a disease-free child...
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Nicola F (Nic) TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm partial to Peter James' `Roy Grace' detective books but the summary for this one had me hooked, as did the eerie looking cover. With a Peter James book you're pretty much guaranteed a stellar read, so I was curious to know just how good this standalone thriller/sci-fi book would be. It definitely took me by surprise and though it couldn't be more different from his detective books, I found myself gripped by both the premise and the plot.

I won't summarise the novel as that has been done more than adequately enough already, but I will say that the subject matter is controversial yet the writing is pulled off brilliantly. As a reader you do have to suspend your belief on occasions', though the matter of genetics and designer babies is certainly becoming more of a prominent subject in today's society so it does make you think about what could happen and what you would do if you were in the same situation.

Parts of this book genuinely gave me chills, the underlying feeling all the way through is that nothing is quite what it seems and to be careful what you wish for because you just might get it- and then some! As a reader you begin to understand that the `perfect people' created in this novel aren't really 'normal' by societies standards and wonder what they will do next.

Though I really enjoyed this book, I can concede that it has a few flaws which is what prevented me from giving it the full five stars, though for entertainment value alone that could have been the case. Some of the parent's rather laissez faire reactions to their children's extraordinary abilities caused me to roll my eyes on occaision- particularly the fathers!
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stand alone winner 30 Oct 2011
By Jo
A very long way away from the Roy Grace detective series this is a superb stand alone novel by Peter James.
It's a classic 'page turner' I was itching to get to the end to see what happened and was not disappointed at all. Without giving anything away the final few paragraphs are poignant and unexpected. I had my own thoughts as to what might happen but never went down this track.
A great read in its own right, Perfect People will however make you think about what might just be happening behind closed doors and unfortunately it's not pleasant.
I hope it's a sign of things to come though (in the literary world!) as while I love the Roy Grace series this has proved again how much talent James has and I really hope there are more to come.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Daft but riveting 14 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I have been a great fan of Peter James's Inspector Grace novels, although in the last one, with its sadistic mafia hitman and strange development in the missing wife subplot, he seemed to be straying into Harlan Coben territory, if not the realms of fantasy. In Perfect People, he has embraced the fantasy element wholeheartedly.

John and Naomi, understandably anxious to avoid the heartbreak of losing a second child to a rare genetic disorder, borrow a huge sum and go to a dodgy doctor specialising in genetic modification. His clinic operates from an offshore cruise liner due to the illegality of what it does and threats from religious objectors (I am rather tired of the current trend to portray all religious people as homicidal nutcases, but to be fair, the scientists in this book don't come out much better). Naomi duly conceives, but from the first scan the couple begin to realise that they have not been told the whole truth and that they might be in for a few shocks. Once Naomi gives birth via a nightmare caesarian, she and John are briefly happy until threats from the murderous religious group necessitate their fleeing to England. Then the shocks come thick and fast, never letting up till the very end of this rather bleak story.

Mr. James is a good writer - his characters are well developed and you care about them. Ridiculous as the plot becomes - and it gets very silly indeed - you can't help reading on and wondering when or if this poor couple, who only ever wanted a healthy child, are going to get a break.

In a note at the end, Peter James says he researched carefully and everything which happens in the story is possible. Maybe so, and there is undoubtedly room for a novel which explores the risks and potential consequences of extreme genetic manipulation. However, Perfect People reads like Rosemary's Baby Meets The Omen in a Brave New World. It's a page-turner, but I didn't believe a word.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very intriging and thought provoking, shame about the ending.
Overall I was entranced and loved this book, the only thing I didn't like? The short, quite blunt ending that ended quickly and disapointingly. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Charlie Bradbury
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLANT
I read this book within a couple of days on holiday, and thoroughly enjoyed it, it was thought provoking and very well written. Read more
Published 11 days ago by irene mcgarrigle
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect People
Wow - what a thought provoking eerie subject - I loved this book and literally couldn't put it down - it would make a fantastic film too! Read more
Published 11 days ago by SammyF
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Read!
I have read many of Peter James' Roy Grace books but this is the first of his stand alone books that I have read. It grabbed me from the first page and I enjoyed it immensely. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Sheila
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Brilliant book. Took a bit of concentrating on at the start but it had me captivated. The ending is brilliant.
Published 20 days ago by Mrs J I Hollands
5.0 out of 5 stars PJ
Its a Good read, these books I get for my Hubby and he cant get enough of books of this type
Published 1 month ago by Evie
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
This was the very definition of a book I couldn't put down... once I started reading it I had it finished in 2 days as I just wanted to know what was going to happen next. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bob375
4.0 out of 5 stars A novel in the world of Peter James' imagination! Another thing!
I am a follower of Peter James Roy Grace novels. Perhaps I expected something of the same when reading Perfect People but I should not jump to conclusions, each book should be... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindlelover
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it - couldn't put it down!
This is the second book I've read by Peter James and, yet again, it was a page-turner. Peter James has such an imagination and, as long as you can accept things that are rather... Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. T. Canfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing!
Perfect People was utterly gripping and very intriguing throughout. I couldn't put this book down; it's definitely worth a read!
Published 1 month ago by Freya
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