by James Byron Huggins

Simon & Schuster: 1997
$23.00, 400 pp.

Review by Harriet Klausner

The deaths have only just begun and the military is desperate to stop Roth Tiberius Cain, a deceased CIA killing machine. General Ben Hawkens travels to Death Valley to obtain the services of the retired Soloman to complete Operation Trinity Fail-safe, stopping the devastating scourge of Cain. It seems that Cain was a superman in life, who died by accidental electrocution. The CIA and a team of scientists led by Dr. Martha "Maggie" Milton decided Cain was the perfect specimen to rebuild into a super soldier. Because of RNA problems, Cain is forced to drink human blood to replenish his cells. He also can tell personal things about individuals that no one but that person should know. The worst fact of all is if he is not stopped in ten days, the virus he carries will change into the deadliest known form of the bubonic plague and wipe out the entire planet.

Soloman, who quit the government when his family was killed, begins his hunt for Cain, a soulless creature with the reflexes of a lion and the strength of an elephant. Without being egotistical, Soloman knows that he carries the fate of the world on his shoulder because if he fails, there is no time (or any other person) to put in motion a back up plan.

Cain is a roller coaster ride that never seems to end, only becoming more entertaining as each fantastic page is turned. Soloman is wonderful hero, sought of like a Flint with flaws. Maggie makes a better Dr. Frankenstein then Wollencraft's original because she immediately understands where her myopic loyalty has taken her and the world. Cain may be the best killing machine since Dr. Strangelove learned to love the bomb. Though there are a few extremely minor discrepancies, James Byron Huggins's novel may be the thriller of the year.

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