Scientific thriller from the author of New Earth (2013).
Aging cellular-biology whiz Luke Abramson can’t bear to watch his young granddaughter, Angie, die from an aggressive, untreatable brain tumor. His research indicates that if telomerase production is suppressed—thereby causing cells to die faster than normal—cancer cells should perish even more quickly than healthy cells. But nobody will sanction this potentially hazardous experiment, and even his own daughter won't agree to it, so he kidnaps the girl from her hospital bed in Boston, intending to treat her at a facility in Oregon. He persuades Angie’s physician, Tamara Minteer, to go along, but Angie's distraught parents call in the FBI. Duplicitous billionaire Quenton Fisk, having backed Luke’s research, offers a place for Luke, Tamara and Angie to hide while the treatment proceeds, since he’ll own the results. Luke, meanwhile, too old and creaky to be dodging the FBI with a granddaughter in tow, boosts his own telomerase production, hoping to make himself younger, as his trials on mice have shown. Angie’s cancer does shrink, but she develops progeria, or premature aging, as a side effect of telomerase suppression. As Luke grows younger and the FBI closes in, the White House gets wind of the case and reasons that if cancers can be cured and oldsters made youthful, the economy would collapse. These are lightweight ideas and formulaic doings carried out by cardboard characters in an improbable 1950s-style plot.
Bova is usually good company, but this unabashed potboiler barely reaches tepid.