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Perfect People

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  7,295 ratings  ·  748 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. ...more
Hardcover, 484 pages
Published December 2011 by Macmillan (first published 2011)
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Sandy B (Spoiler) don't read further if you dont know the ending....

I liked it and it was logical : a candle that is said to burn brighter burns quicker, alt…more
(Spoiler) don't read further if you dont know the ending....

I liked it and it was logical : a candle that is said to burn brighter burns quicker, although it was improbable that the good Dr would not have also added a gene for longevity(less)

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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,295 ratings  ·  748 reviews

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Aug 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
When John and Naomi lost their 3-year son to a genetic disorder, they turn to a geneticist who, for $400,000, promised to assist them in conceiving a genetically superior baby, one immune to the recessive genes.

Naomi becomes pregnant with not one but two babies and with the series of bizarre events leading to their birth, we, the readers, know something is amiss. When the babies start behaving abnormally, the couple reaches out to the good doctor only to find he'd disappeared.

Then an even more
Feb 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, kindle
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
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Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recall reading this whilst on holiday in Croatia, having already finished all the books I’d taken with me I had a look in the hotel library.
Being a big fan of James long running Roy Grace series, this title jumped out from the bookcase...

It has such an interesting premise as tackles the subject of designer babies. With John and Naomi Klaesson four-year-old son dies from a genetic disease, the couple realise that any possible future child will also suffer the same fate.
They learn of geneticist
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I picked up this book purely based on it having been long-listed for the WellcomeBookPrize and I am very glad I did actually because I ended up really enjoying it, even though it definitely has its flaws. I've never read anything else by this author, and from what I understand he's mostly a crime-thriller writer, but this book has more of a pure thriller and action vibe to it. The whole way through the story was pretty intense and there was a lot of very interesting research involved to make it ...more
Cindy Ng
Aug 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
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

Amazing. Brilliant. Breath taking!

It is my favorite book of adult fiction, it has everything I have ever asked of the story. Plus, as a geneticist myself and believer in transhumanism this is just a must read and must love and ah I am just going to take it into my bed instead of a teddy bear!
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I have read a couple of books by this author which I absolutely loved, so was very much looking forward to reading this one

To start with I have to admit I did find it a bit slow going but once I started getting into it, I was well and truly gripped.

As a parent I could fully empathise with John and Naomi. To lose a child has got to be one of the worst things in life possible. So to get the chance to have another baby that can be guaranteed to have none of the illnesses that can be passed on in th
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
Joanne Sheppard
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Colin Andrews
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Elaine Browne
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is very different from what I normally read.
It's very science fiction and I normally detest that genre of literature but this is extremely well written.
The characters of John and Naomi are extremely realistic , they are flawed humans who long for intelligent children.
The whole plot of designer babies brings up a fascinating subject and is dealt with fabulously in this book.
Luke and phoebe are monsters and they contribute greatly to the ambitious story line of where science will eventually e
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Absolute nonsense, it reminded me of a really bad 70s movie. It was quite intriguing at first then became more and more ludicrous, the behaviour of the parents was so inconsistent, one minute fearful of the children, the next behaving as if everything is normal. And that ending? Daft is the word, I couldn't believe what I was reading. I'm giving 2 stars as I found it weirdly compelling. ...more
Karen Barber
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Potentially interesting idea, but so far off in terms of characters/plot it’s hard to know what to say.
A well-off and educated couple, reeling from the heartache of losing a child to a rare genetic condition, spend a fortune to pay a maverick scientist to genetically engineer their child. Renowned for his forward thinking, the Doctor offers enhancements. Like Frankenstein, this offers up a possible action but stretches it to incredible levels.
The couple learn they’re having twins, and as the chi
Aug 21, 2012 rated it liked it
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???
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
A stand alone novel from one of my favourite authors Peter James.
I really enjoyed this novel that differs from his usual Roy Grace stories. This thought provoking book kept me wanting more and I got so hooked by it that I finished it within 24 hours.
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Peter James book and I really enjoyed it.
Even though none of the characters were particularly likeable, the subject matter and plot was enough to keep me reading.
It's a bit scary because eventually it could be true
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-sale
"Be careful what you wish for"

Think about it: if you start messing with DNA and genes, what would happen?
Which genes would you alter?

I understand where John and Naomi were coming from. If you know you're both carrying a gene for a horrible disease, would you make the decision to have that gene altered? It's a small step to say 'yes'. Just that one gene. It kinda makes sense, right?
But what if you fall into the hands of a crazy scientist who doesn't just want to alter that gene, but a whole se
Brian's Bookshelves
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, 2020
A thought provoking thriller.
A couple decide to make a designer baby but discover that it brings more problems.
A tense, creepy thriller with lots of predictable tropes but enjoyable, with a great twist.
5 stars
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: wellcome-prize
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
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 13, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Book Whisperer (aka 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
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: udate, thriller, sci-fi
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
Helen McBay
Jan 09, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Shawna Briseno
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jess The Bookworm
Mar 28, 2016 rated it liked it
This book follows a couple on their journey to have a child free of genetic diseases following the death of their first child from a disease which they carry.

The couple goes to an infamous geneticist who assists them in conceiving a child free of genetic disorders.

However, the geneticist has his own agenda, and things do not quite end up as planned.

I thought that the story line was very interesting, and the concept of designer babies fascinating, as we know that such a thing is not too far off
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Peter James is a global bestselling author, best known for writing crime and thriller novels, and the creator of the much-loved Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. With a total of 16 Sunday Times No. 1s under his belt, he has achieved global book sales of over 20 million copies to date and has been translated into 37 languages.

Synonymous with plot-twisting page-turners, Peter has garnered an army

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