Vaguely science-fictional multiple-personality yarn from the author of the splendid fantasy Gypsies (1988). Orphan John Shaw, treated with experimental drugs and hormones as a baby by Dr. Max Kyriakides, has grown up to be a highly intelligent and multiple-talented but unstable individual: unable to bear the incomprehension and mindless contempt of his ordinary foster parents, precocious young John created another, safer, mediocre personality, Benjamin, to front for him. But now Benjamin often emerges without John's consent and, feeling his control slipping away, John fears the worst. Kyriakides, meanwhile, full of guilt over his abandonment of John, and alarmed at the symptoms shown by the chimps he also experimented on, sends researcher Susan Christopher to contact John and offer help (John, feeling rejected by father-figure Kyriakides, refuses). Soon, Susan falls in love with John--but Benjamin's live-in lover, Amelie, mistrusts John. Then Amelie's vicious, deadbeat brother Roch shows up, threatening Amelie; John throws Roch out. Boiling with revenge, Roch plots to kidnap Amelie and thus draw John and Susan into a trap. Finally, under pressure of Roch's violence and a great fire, John and Benjamin fuse to produce a new and stable personality. That whole contrived subplot involving Roch is the major irritant here. For the remainder: bland psychologizing, strained plotting, and trite ideas. A severe disappointment.