When an aging cyclist suddenly dominates his sport, a grieving physician, an aging pharmacologist, a reluctant young cyclist, and an ostracized female paramedic uncover the world’s first genetically altered athlete.
An exacting doctor’s teen-aged son dies from using bodybuilding steroids and his wife leaves him. Dr. Speak Singleton moves to Utah and volunteers as a doping control officer in the 2012 Olympics. So begins his precarious redemptive journey as he is forced to expose the world’s first genetically altered super-human athlete. When it seemed his lackluster career was finished, aging cyclist, Luke Garver, wins the Tour De France and threatens to dominate the coming Olympics. His physician-coach, Dr. Simon Whitford, has injected him with an undetectable muscle DNA altering substance he hopes to market to all of us for its fountain of youth properties. He’s morphed his record-shattering cyclist into a baby-boomer poster boy. At center stage the struggle between Singleton and Whitford is astonishing—with one willing to risk everything to protect young athletes, and the other allowing nothing to block his climb to riches and power. In his struggle to expose this dangerous performance enhancement technology, Singleton recruits a beautiful paramedic, a reluctant professional cyclist, and an aging pharmacologist. Morphed dissects their complex relationships and the forces that twist them. Morphed is concerned with much more than cheating in sports. On the surface the story is a medical-sports thriller, but its underlying theme concerns the innate human drive to perform at the highest level - even if it means altering our own DNA. We are all hooked on human performance enhancement technology (socially acceptable doping) to a varying degree. Our acquiescence to drugs or other artificial means boosting success is based on our own desire to prevail. Who would not employ a low risk way to stay young, boost sexual function, or appearance? Viagra, cosmetic surgery, hormones, or owning the ultimate piece of sports equipment like the lightest bike, fancy golf clubs, or most slippery swimsuit are all examples used to enhance achievement. Morphed mirrors our innate drive to win at any cost.
Kirkus Review "... Immediately apparent are the sinister intentions of Team USA member and Tour de France winner Luke Garver and Coach Whitford, a medical genius who has devised a muscle-DNA altering substance that will not only pass through the anti-doping system but can also reduce the effects of aging. Seemingly past his prime, Garver, who has been shattering all of the cycling records set by Lance Armstrong, is a living example of Whitford’s prowess. Whitford and his right-hand man, Flint, know no bounds, as evidenced by the brutal slaying of cyclist Erik Hikem. Speak meets Troy Hale, another member of Team USA, through Hikem’s crash and immediately likens Troy to his son. Despite his insecurities and intimacy issues, Speak is a compassionate character who seeks the female touch and finds it in paramedic and fellow volunteer Julia Anderson. The dichotomy between the two medical practitioners, Speak and Whitford, is stunning—while one is ready to endure criticism and a tarnished reputation in his fight against steroids, the other is just as determined to plow through any obstacle that will prevent him from becoming rich through his creation, regardless of the cost in human lives and side effects of genetic doping. Speak and Whitford, two characters who have a scarred past and are searching for redemption—or revenge—are, on their own, enough to make this narrative a worthwhile read. The element of the 2012 Summer Olympics, educational information on steroids, fast-paced dialogue and the relationships between Troy and Speak and Speak and Julia are simply icing on the cake. A thrilling, nuanced drama that packs an informational and emotional punch." [email protected]