My introduction to the story of a person attempting to solve their own murder came when I saw the outstanding 1949 noir classic D.O.A., starring Edmond O’Brien. The idea of a character hunting their killer is powerful. And when you wrap it in a sci-fi thriller about human clones, it sings.
In Constance by Matthew Fitzsimmons, human cloning exists, although it comes with a few glitches. In classic whodunnit form, Con D’Arcy’s clone awakens because her original is dead. That’s the rule. And like the first Constance, she’s independent and fearless. Despite missing eighteen months of memories, she goes in search of answers. Besides the excellent writing, it’s the research that makes this novel enjoyable. The world-building is solid and believable. And the questions cloning raises are numerous and troubling.
There was one idea that stood out for me. If a person commits murder, can their clone be held responsible after the original dies? That, my friends, would make for some interesting dinner conversation. And here’s another one. Should clones enjoy the same rights as their originals? Are they even people?
If you love well-researched thrillers where, at times, the bad guys outnumber the good, then I suggest you grab Constance. And when you’ve finished reading it, ask yourself one question. Do I want to live forever?
A breakthrough in human cloning becomes one woman’s waking nightmare in a mind-bending thriller by the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Gibson Vaughn series.
In the near future, advances in medicine and quantum computing make human cloning a reality. For the wealthy, cheating death is the ultimate luxury. To anticloning militants, it’s an abomination against nature. For young Constance “Con” D’Arcy, who was gifted her own clone by her late aunt, it’s terrifying.
After a routine monthly upload of her consciousness—stored for that inevitable transition—something goes wrong. When Con wakes up in the clinic, it’s eighteen months later. Her recent memories are missing. Her original, she’s told, is dead. If that’s true, what does that make her?
The secrets of Con’s disorienting new life are buried deep. So are those of how and why she died. To uncover the truth, Con is retracing the last days she can recall, crossing paths with a detective who’s just as curious. On the run, she needs someone she can trust. Because only one thing has become clear: Con is being marked for murder—all over again.