Spotlight: CRISPR’d by Judy Foreman

Congratulations to author Judy Foreman. Her debut novel will publish tomorrow, Feb. 15, 2022. 

In her debut novel, CRISPR’d: A Medial Thriller (February 15, 2022; Skyhorse Publishing hardcover; ISBN 978-1-51076-993-9; $26.99; 264 pages), Judy Foreman uses her decades of writing medical columns and science stories for The Boston Globe to take readers on a wild, all-too-plausible-ride into the future.

Dr. Saul Kramer is on the cutting edge of genetic disease research. Revered among clients at his IVF clinic, he harbors a dark secret. In addition to helping infertile couples conceive healthy babies, Dr. Kramer is obsessed, for his own dark reasons, with an alternate mission as well. In certain patients, he uses the gene editing technology CRISPR to tamper with embryos, not to improve the health of the embryos, but to replace a healthy gene with a deadly mutation.

Star reporter Samantha Fuller at one of Boston’s biggest papers begins to suspect what he has done when three infants conceived at his clinic die mysteriously, all at about one year old. She and her molecular biologist husband work secretly in his MIT lab to look for genetic defects in the deceased children. Together, they make a chilling discovery. Thanks to Sammie’s blockbuster stories, which go viral, Dr. Kramer is charged with murder and winds up in court.

In the subsequent dramatic court scenes, his feisty defense lawyer stuns the world with her defense. Set in this uneasy time of genetic engineering with CRISPR technology, Foreman, spins a compelling tale of love, revenge, and murder.

Foreman author photo CREDIT Andy Dolph

Photo credit: Andy Dolph

JUDY FOREMAN is a former Boston Globe health columnist and the author of three works of nonfiction (A Nation in Pain, The Global Pain Crisis, and Exercise Is Medicine). She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College. She spent three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Brazil and has a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was a Lecturer on Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Fellow in Medical Ethics, also at Harvard Medical School, and a Knight Science Fellow at MIT. She was a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. She has won more than 50 journalism awards including a George Foster Peabody Award and a Science in Society award from the National Association of Science Writers. She swims competitively with U.S. Masters and sings with Boston’s Back Bay Chorale. CRISPR’d is her first novel.


Advance praise:

“Judy Foreman’s debut novel, CRISPR’d, is a must-read. A former science writer and health columnist for The Boston Globe, Foreman has written a page-turner—a medical thriller cum cautionary tale—that will not just have you on the edge of your seat but will enlighten you about the power, and potential dangers, of the new gene-editing technology, CRISPR. Foreman has a unique, concise style, like a scalpel. Her novel builds to an exciting, and unexpected, finale that will leave you breathless, and thoughtful.”
— International bestselling author, Robin Cook

“Perhaps you haven’t been ‘CRISPR’d’ yet, but regardless, you should read Judy Foreman’s novel (which is also ‘novel’ as in ‘cutting-edge’ and thought-provoking). Her mastery of non-fiction in previous books shines through and combines with a well-paced cautionary tale. It joins other exciting narratives like ‘Jurassic Park’ 1990 and ‘Regenesis’ 2012 in having a full page of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts. An intriguing and very welcome view point.”
—George M. Church, Professor at Harvard Medical School and MIT, and
author of Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves

“CRISPR [technology] holds the key to discovering the horrors unleashed by a vengeful IVF physician. A satisfying and well-paced genetics detective story.”
—George Annas, Professor of Health Law, Boston University, and author of Worst Case Bioethics.

“Want to take an incredibly exciting journey to the cutting edge of genetic engineering, the law and crime? This is the book for you. In the expert hands of Judy Foreman, a cast of credible characters in an engaging tale shows how today’s emerging techniques for altering humans might become the stuff of courtroom drama and ethical contention in the very near future.”
—Arthur Caplan, Mitty Professor of Bioethics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

“Fans of Jodi Picoult will love this first novel from former Boston Globe science and medicine reporter Judy Foreman. With the care that she brought to her news reporting and scientific books and with an incredible ability to make science understandable for all of us, Foreman weaves a powerful story around new genetic technologies and ancient social and ethical issues: When is killing murder and when is it not? Is vengeance ever justified? I could hardly put down this book and resented every interruption in my reading! For anyone who cares about bioethics, this is a ‘must-read’: deftly crafted, balancing humor and pathos, and combining courtroom drama with the needed twists and turns of a mystery story. May this be the first of many novels from this skilled author.”
—Karen Lebacqz, former member of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research and Bioethicist in Residence at Yale University, chair of the Advisory Council of the Center for Christian Bioethics at Loma Linda University, co-author of Sacred Cells: Why Christians Should Support Stem Cell Research, and co-editor of
The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate


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