MRC Recommends: The Goldilocks Genome by Elizabeth Reed Aden

MRC RECOMMENDS: The Goldilocks Genome by Elizabeth Reed Aden

I went in expecting a medical thriller, but I got so much more.
– The Mystery Review Crew

The Goldilocks Genome

By Elizabeth Reed Aden
Genre: Thriller, Medical Mystery

When San Francisco–based FDA epidemiologist Dr. Carrie Hediger uncovers a rash of unexplained deaths while investigating the suspiciously convenient death of her best friend, she becomes determined to find answers—even if it leads her to a murderer, and even if confronting authority, using her wiles, and bending the rules to get justice risks her future in the FDA.

To unravel the puzzle, Carrie assembles a some talented post-doctoral fellows, a quirky pharmacologist, an unctuous chemist, and a skeptical FBI agent that she can’t help her attraction for. Together, they follow the data through the twists and turns, eventually uncovering that the Goldilocks effect in prescription drugs—the premise that people are inclined to seek “just the right amount” of something—is central to understanding these mysterious deaths.

Through the twists and turns, Carrie and her team enter a race to uncover the truth . . . and catch a killer.

Grounded in real data analysis techniques, real science and pharmacology, and actual current psychiatric practices, The Goldilocks Genome is simultaneously a taut, race-against-time thriller and a condemnation of the psychiatric industry’s failure to implement genetic-based “personalized medicine”—a problem that persists to this day.

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Review of The Goldilocks Genome by Elizabeth Reed Aden

The Goldilocks Genome was so different than imagined —in a good way. 

I went in expecting a medical thriller, but I got so much more. Elizabeth Reed Aden takes us on a journey of what some would call medical dereliction or carelessness, and what I would say happens way more than most would like to acknowledge. 

At first, I was not quite sure where this book was taking me. We are thrown a variety of characters, and many different situations – but all connected by a common mysterious thread and a sinister plot of revenge. 

One of my favorite things about this story was the variety of characters Elizabeth Reed Aden gave us. The way she introduced each successive character, their backgrounds, how she brought their thoughts to life, and the way she conveyed their actions was very appealing. It made me feel like I was in the story, trying to solve the mystery too!

I believe this is one of the best laid-out explanations of why a “villain” became a “villain” I’ve read before. Elizabeth Reed Aden helped us emotionally connect with the moral choices they made and gave us the reasons behind why they became the villainous character in the book. Very well done. 

The only concerns I could see anyone having with this book are some of the triggers listed below and the intense scientific explanations throughout the book. You need to like science and have a good understanding of it to truly enjoy this story. 
The Goldilocks Genome deals with heavy topics such as depression, death/suicide, morals, scientific advancement, and the FDA. All with amazing details that were laid out clearly with enough information that you could follow the science behind the mystery.

About Elizabeth Reed Aden, PhD

Elizabeth, “Betsy” lives in Berkeley, California and successfully leveraged her doctorate in biomedical anthropology into a career in pharmaceuticals and biotech. She is the author of the forthcoming medical thriller The Goldilocks Genome and is working on a book examining the impact of her fieldwork in Melanesia on her life and career. Eunice Mays Boyd was her godmother. She recently discovered Eunice’s unpublished novels and is publishing her new and republishing the out-of-print mysteries.

Betsy is also bi-continental and lives part of the year in lovely, historic Valencia, Spain where she enjoys exploring the history and prehistory of the country. She love exploring the different beaches and swimming.

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