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The Gene of Life


Berlin, July 2008. After giving a lecture, Max Knight, a Nobel Prize candidate and professor of genetic research, is kidnapped. His captors show him part of a corpse, a left hand, discovered when a bomb exploded at a neo-Nazi rally. Although the hand appears to be that of a male in his forties, it actually belongs to a Nazi lieutenant, who must be 111 years old. To solve the mystery, Max and his assistant Katya head for Domba, deep in the Amazon rainforest, where they meet the enigmatic village-leader’s daughter, Tania, and soon find themselves involved in a far-reaching Nazi plot. As they race against time from Berlin to the Amazon, California, and Rome, will their romance grow? Even if Max has a fatal secret?

Is eternal life immoral or our salvation?

This science thriller was published in Japan (2002, 2011) and China (2013) and became an international bestseller. The fast-paced, action-packed story includes adventure, intrigue, romance, history, and more.


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About the Author
After working as a scientist for the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, Ted Takashima moved to California, where he studied at the University of California. He has published more than twenty novels in the action/thriller/suspense/mystery genres in Japan. His novels include Intruder, which won the 1999 Suntory Mystery Award; Pandemic (2010), which foretold the global spread of COVID-19 in 2020; and The Wall (2020), a redemption story set against the backdrop of a refugee crisis at the Trump border wall with Mexico.

Book trailer

By Tetsuo Ted Takashima
Translated by Giuseppe di Martino
ISBN 978-1-940842-51-6 (paperback)

978-1-940842-52-3 (ebook)
Trade Paperback, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, 360 pages
FICTION / Thrillers / Political / Science

US $16.95 / CAN $22.95 (paperback)
US $5.99 / CAN $7.99 (ebook)

June 15, 2021

EXCERPT Prologue and Chapter 1

More information

Cast of Characters
Although the protagonist, Max Knight, is a superstar professor of genetic-research, his assistant, Katya, is also a strong character in The Gene of Life. She is brave, compassionate, determined, and exceptionally skilled. YOU (whether you are male or female) will fall in love with her. Meet the cast of characters!

Limone sul Garda, Italy
The beautiful, jewel-like town of Limone sul Garda, Italy, is where Professor Max Knight travels to in the prologue, and the tiny village actually exists! Also true, 40 villagers who live there have a mutated gene for longevity. Are they blessed by God? Do you want to know more about the secret to a long life?

Max and Katya
Foreword Review says, “Elements of real science wend into the narrative, while a love affair between Max and Katya also gives the story extra steam.”
Hear how their love story grows as their dialog heats up.

Ted Takashima Interview
Author Ted Takashima talks about what inspired him to write “The Gene of Life,” and about who were the models for his characters—the smart, brave, talented, and beautiful Katya and the genius scientist with a secret, Max.

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