Damned by DNA
Release Date: 1 January
336 pages | Hardback/ ebook Author: Peyton Marshall Publisher: Transworld with a romantic edge; it’s safe to say that Peyton Marshall’s thriller Goodhouse ticks all the boxes for Current Teen Thing. The central question: if in the not- so- distant future we can uncover a criminal gene, should we lock up the pre- criminals so that they can never cause harm?
Our hero James is just such an institution boy, struggling to convey his worth to a world that’s already decided he is a monster. Though he has no idea of his original name, parents, or what crimes they – or indeed he – are supposed to have committed, he’s forced to pay his dues along with thousands of other boys, none of whom want to play nice.
But though he can’t trust his apparently criminally- leaning comrades, that’s nothing compared to his suspicion of those who
A dystopian YA thriller
actually run the Goodhouse institutes. And since James’s first school was burnt down by a cult bent on eliminating boys like him altogether, he’s got a lot of enemies to juggle. Then, of course, there’s this girl…
Goodhouse is good fun – Minority Report meets Never Let Me Go, with all the fallout you might expect. The story bashes along, fast- paced and occasionally brutal; but it all feels a little like another Orwell cut- out. Without originality on its side, unfortunately it never quite graduates from good to great. Natasha Hodgson Peyton Marshall spent most of the ’ 90s playing bass in The Third Sex, a riot grrrl band from Portland, Oregon.