Intuition by Allegra Goodman - review by Charlotte Appleyard

Charlotte Appleyard

Lab Rats

Intuition

By

Atlantic Books 344pp £12.99 order from our bookshop
 

Ostensibly, Allegra Goodman’s Intuition is a straightforward thriller centring on the discovery of a possible cure for cancer, set in a fictional lab affiliated to Harvard University. There is the charismatic and media-savvy boss, Sandy Glass, with dollar signs in his eyes, and his more earnest and academic deputy Marion Mendelssohn. They are backed up by a large cast of competitive post-docs who have their research put on hold as the previously unremarkable experiments of Cliff, one of their colleagues, begin to yield extraordinary results.

In a few chapters Cliff goes from being the lab’s pariah to its greatest asset when a virus he has been cultivating for years suddenly seems to not only reduce the tumours he is inflicting on his test-subject mice but actually get rid of them entirely. Glass leaps

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