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Perfect People

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  2,697 ratings  ·  407 reviews
When a young couple join a fertility programme run by a clinic in America they little suspect that the happy day that follows is the last day of mankind's evolutionary supremacy. Mankind is facing its greatest challenge: obsolescence.Longlisted for the 2012 Wellcome Trust Book Prize.
Hardcover, 484 pages
Published December 2011 by Macmillan (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Andy
Another of my wife's books, read while in India.

I really can't tell why most people are raving about this (note: spoilers present). The central concept is interesting but James doesn't go anywhere with it. We're stuck throughout with an annoying, rather generic couple who make a poor choice and then seem continually perplexed at the unusual consequences of their actions. I appreciate that they were (naively?) expecting something else but it's patently obvious to us as the reader that the mysteri
...more
Chris
Initially Perfect People felt like it could have been written by any number of American authors; the style of writing could have come from Linwood Barclay, Michael Connelly or even Jonathan Kellerman. I assumed Perfect People was an attempt by Peter James to increase his popularity and following within the US; Perfect People didn’t have the normal ‘Peter James’ style about it....

Soon however, Peter James stamps his trademark style on the pages – not with his normal police procedural and forensi
...more
Wizpunzel
Not having read any of this author’s other novels, I didn’t know what to expect however I found the plot disappointing, the characters implausible - principally the unlikely, naive couple paying almost ½ million pounds for a ‘designer’ baby, because their firstborn son dies from an appalling but wholly imaginary disease (there are already many hideous fatal conditions, so why invent one?), who then continue to lumber through the story making one moronic decision after another. Amazing considerin ...more
Best Crime Books
I hold my hands up; I am a true Peter James fan and in particular am partial to a bit of Roy Grace! For those not aware of Mr James or indeed my lovely hero Mr Grace, start paying attention! Peter James has been writing for many years and his most recent and very popular series of books features Superintendant Roy Grace. Although many of Peters fans, myself included) may prefer the Grace novels, Peter James has been writing stand alone novels since the very early eighties. His latest release ent ...more
Colin Andrews
One of the most thought-provoking thrillers I've read. Scary too, not so much in the blood and gore sense, but the in the implications of genetic engineering of the human species to a level far beyond what eugenics in the conventional sense might ever achieve. When the book was first started, designer babies were still a subject for science fiction, but judging by scientific advances made over the past 10 years this fiction could so easily become fact. There is no reason to believe that violent ...more
Helen Mcbay
Having read and enjoyed all of Peter's Roy Grace novels I thought I would give his stand alone novel, Perfect People a go.
I struggled to get through the first 50 pages; I don't know if this is because I am not very scientifically minded or if not much was really happening. However, I ploughed on and am glad I did. The novel picked up pace after this with loads going on to keep the pages turning especially in the latter stages of the book.
This book took Peter James 10 years to write and he has qu
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Diane S.
Perfect People Alternately chilling and heartbreaking, James portrays couples who will do anything to have a child. In this book it is a genetic disease and the loss of the child due to that disease that send Jack and Naomi to a renowned geneticist that is said to perform near miracles. Anything, of course, that can be used to help people can also be taken the other way and used to enrich and pervert the very person who is supposed to be helping the situation. People who swear they are not in it ...more
Miles
John and Naomi are grieving the death of their four-year-old son from a rare genetic disorder. They desperately want another child, but they realize the odds of their next child contracting the same disease are high.
Then they hear about geneticist Dr Leo Dettore. He has methods that can spare them the heartache of ever losing another child to any disease.

At his clinic is where their nightmare begins.

They should have realized something was wrong when they saw the list. Choices of eye colour, h
...more
Boof
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.

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
...more
Cindy Ng
I had high hopes for this book as the topic of genetic engineering and the issues surrounding it really interests me, and reviews all seemed pretty positive. I also really enjoyed the movie Gattaca which is on a similar theme.

However, just a couple of chapters in I couldn't believe how naive the two main characters were, and they seemed to be making stupid decision after stupid decision. This continued throughout the book and really affected my enjoyment of the story but I pushed on, partly bec
...more
Bookworm
One of the most thought-proving thrillers I've read. My first thought was that this book should be made into a movie. I can sympathise with John and Naomi. It's nothing wrong wanting to free their next child of genetic disease. If I were them, and presuming I want the chance to have healthy children, I'd go to Dr Dettore too. I felt sorry for them because they put everything on the line and in the end, they didn't get the happy ever after they had hoped to have.

The first few chapters were slow
...more
Jenni
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robin
Peter James steps away from his regular series of novels about detective Roy Grace for this chilling standalone thriller on the theme of genetic manipulation.

John and Naomi's life has been blighted by the death of their son from a disease he inherited from them. They visit maverick scientist Dr Leo Dettore and pay him all their money to have their next child born free of the disease-carrying genes. Alarm bells should ring when he seems keen to add further genetic enhancements, but they are worri
...more
Joanne Sheppard
Peter James is an impressively prolific bestselling thriller writer, of whose books I had before now read precisely none. I picked up Perfect People at a low-price book sale along with various other thrillers this summer because I was keen to know what Peter James does that sells so well, and because I was interested in the subject matter: a couple who agrees to have a genetically engineered son to avoid losing another child to the hereditary disease that killed their first baby, Halley, at the ...more
Louise
not the usualsort of thing from James, but he pulled off a different style of writing very well.

taking something that is becoming less like science fiction everyday, and giving it a twist like this was clever.

No matter how good the intentions were of the parents, you have to wonder should they have tinkered with mother nature for their designer babies, and were the people they were left with just payback???
Vicki Tyley
“Why not give science a chance at the helm? Is science, in the right hands, going to make an even bigger mess?”Perfect People

Not the usual Peter James thriller I’ve come to expect, but a good read all the same.
Teagan C.
Very good book, interesting premise with characters that had believable questions of morality. Kind of thought provoking in what the future might bring in regards to genetics and "designer babies" and just how close this might really be. Probably not a book for every person though.
Elaine
I am in two minds about this book. On the one hand, I loved it and devoured it; a fascinating story about a couple who, after their first child dies a painful death from a hereditary condition, seek the help of genetic science to try and eradicate the guilty gene so that they can be guaranteed a child who will not suffer the same, but who end up getting far more than they bargained for. It is extremely thought provoking and will certainly make you think about the whole concept of "designer babie ...more
Veerle


Wat een onverwacht einde zeg!
Net geen vier sterren omdat ik een bepaald gedeelte iets te langdradig vond maar verder een meer dan prima boek!
Ananya
Feb 19, 2013 Ananya rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People crazy about medical advancements
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kat
Perfect People begins on a perfectly creepy note. John and Naomi are transported by helicopter to a boat moored outside American waters, in the middle of the night. They see no one other than the staff, even though the boat supposedly carries quite a few passengers who have paid a tonne of money to use the services of geneticist Dr Dettore. Now, for anyone that wasn't consumed by grief and a desperation for a child, this would be too freaky for words, but John and Naomi are both - and they choos ...more
Marie
Perfect People is a thriller with a sci-fi twist that delves into the shady world of eugenics. John and Naomi Klaesson are a couple who have been left heartbroken by the death of their son by a horrible hereditary disease. Desperate to have another child, but wanting to be sure the same fate will not befall them again, they hand over their life savings and their bodies to the infamous Dr Dettore and his shady offshore genetics clinic. He promises that he can make their dreams come true and when ...more
Pauline Randall
I zipped through this fairly quickly, the short chapters always entice you into reading another few pages! I've read several of Peter James police procedurals and enjoyed them and thought I'd give this one a shot.

To be honest I didn't think the writing style was great, there were quite a few parts where I thought a good editor could have tidied up the text. The plot was an interesting one as we get ever more involved in genetic manipulation however the characters were very two dimensional. The d
...more
Barbara Elsborg
I like Peter James so although this book wasn't one I'd normally have read, I bought it because he'd written it. Very different from his police procedurals, this is the story of a couple who want their next child to be free of the gene that killed their first - oh and while the geneticists are at it, how about making it a tall boy, who doesn't need much sleep etc. Though they resist the offers to make a lot of genetic changes, what happens after Naomi goes for her first pregnancy checkup - isn't ...more
Alison
Utter drivel. I was trying to finish this to add to my total of books read for the year but at the half way point I decided I had better things to do with two hours of my life. Yes, the writing is so light that it's only taken me about that long to get through 300 pages of the paperback edition. I did try to think of some redeeming features of the characters, plot or writing, but unfortunately I couldn't.
Annie
A four and a half really! I'm a massive fan of his Roy Grace series, but the only thing this book really has in common is the strong story-telling and well rounded characters. Have to say I thought this was science fiction at its very best. The story gets a bit bogged down in choosing the attributes of a designer child for John and Naomi, but it's kind-of necessary to support the debate of the issues. But, from the point that "something's wrong" this novel is pure adventure + excitement, twists ...more
Shawna
ARC provided by NetGalley:
If you're in the mood for a medical-themed science fiction book, Perfect People fits that description. After the death of their young son from a genetic disease, John and Naomi are so desperate for another child that they turn to a "designer baby" doctor. Although their original wish is simply for their baby to be born healthy, things don't go as planned. This book had me hooked from the first pages. The storyline is believable and sufficiently creepy as it deals with t
...more
Mo22
Great escapist read, verges on the 'Midwitch Cuckoos' at times but, don't let that put you off (if it does). It kept me turning the pages, and fully 'deliverd'. Working my way through Peter James's other books now. It would be a great beach paperback, or any holiday read. Parts of it you have to suspend belief, but heck thats what fiction is all about? No one emerges well from it, and it presents a few different sides to the genetic science breakthroughs we read about. It also reads at times lik ...more
Vicky Thomasson
This book was interesting. It was intelligently written and the concept was quite frightening. I enjoyed the fact that it made me think, the subjects of eugenics and religion fascinate me. I felt incredibly sorry for John and Naomi and wondered in detail whether I'd be willing to have a 'designer baby' if the opportunity was given to me (I've also lost a child through bad genes). I mostly thought it was quite a good idea for a story, although it took me while to get into it. I absolutely hated t ...more
Laura
This book was fantastic, one of the best books I've read for a long time!

The pace of the book considering the subject matter was kept at a good pace and I liked the way that it stayed quite focused on the couple, rather than going off on a tangent!

I also thought that reading a book regarding the subject made a nice refreshing change and having not read any of the authors previous books before (although I do own a couple) I will certainly be doing so in the future.

The only negative I would commen
...more
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Peter James has been a screenwriter and film producer, and is now the author of best selling crime novels. James has written 25 books, the most recent of which feature Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. His books have been translated into 29 languages. In England they are published by Pan Books and in the US by Carroll & Graf Publishers. James has written supernatural thrillers ...more
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