The Amherst Protocol

Fiction - Thriller - Medical
320 Pages
Reviewed on 06/18/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Amherst Protocol is a work of fiction based on real scientific facts and was penned by author Richard Whitney. The thematic content of the story, which zeroes in on the world of the medical science fields, focuses on Clayton Tucker and Brian Singh as reporters who are about to mark the anniversary of the first human heart transplant using a cloned heart. Set in the near future, the reporters explore the real history of heart transplants from nearly a hundred years prior, but they also uncover some new conspiracies and potential dangers that need exploration. So begins a mysterious journey into the realm where the line between science fiction and fact begins to blur.

Author Richard Whitney writes with confidence and clarity in this involved and thought-provoking read. The central characters are portrayed with realistic dialogue which is accessible, even for those who do not fully understand the level of the science taking place within the novel. This book is clearly well researched and provides a lot of detailed content for the story, which soon develops into a larger scientific mystery involving labs that do harm rather than labs that help humanity. I really liked the skin invention, which brought a little sci-fi spy action into the mix, and overall the concepts introduced into the plot were strongly played. What results is an engaging mystery-style thriller novel that reveals and educates at the same time, and I would definitely recommend The Amherst Protocol to readers looking for realistic fiction with a near-future twist.

Viga Boland

With the coronavirus currently dominating news headlines, the publication of The Amherst Protocol by Richard Whitney is timely, especially for devotees of conspiracy theories. Given how suddenly viruses like Corona, Sars, H1N1 and several others seem to suddenly come out of the blue and have the international health organizations scrambling frantically to find an antidote, you can’t help but wonder if there’s something going on beyond the explanations initially given. Are such viruses perhaps being released on purpose? And if so, what is that purpose? Population control? Financial gain? Political dominance?

There is little point in summarizing the plot of The Amherst Protocol in this review as the book’s description gives an excellent summary of the plot. What will keep you turning pages though is curiosity about exactly what “Alastor” is? Could it be the ultimate weapon of biological warfare? If so, how is it activated and by whom? What the two reporters, Clay and Brian, stumble into when following up on how our bodies accept or reject transplanted organs is far more than they wanted or expected to learn. It’s surprising and far from comforting and leaves readers of this novel with lots to think about. To my mind, that’s the sign of a good book.

This novel is quite a departure from the author’s previous publications, most of which are children’s books. Whitney tackles the complicated plot through an enjoyable and realistic cast of good and evil characters, easy-flowing dialogue, and plenty of emotional highpoints. That said, those with a limited vocabulary who aren’t patient with descriptions and long backstories on the characters might find The Amherst Protocol a challenging read. Challenging yes, but boring? Never! Give this novel with its unique twists your time. You’ll be rewarded with an engaging read.

Christian Sia

The Amherst Protocol by Richard Whitney is a spellbinding science fiction tale with hints of terrorism. It is the near future in 2042 and new technology is taking center stage — cloning and stem cell therapy. Clayton Tucker and Brian Singh are working for the reputable Dallas Observer and can’t wait to cover the first human transplant using a cloned heart. But they start getting suspicious about Pontiac Pharmaceuticals that has funded the transplant in Dallas. The company link with Omega Security Systems raises more suspicions, and as they dig for the truth, they get caught up in a dangerous scheme and find themselves in the very heart of the company’s headquarters in Bosnia. In a new lab, and thanks to help from the company’s COO, Darius Kent, they uncover the greatest threat yet; a biological weapon that is to be tested in a few days. Can they save themselves and humanity from the threat that looms ahead?

Richard Whitney weaves a story with characters that are sophisticated and plot twists that compel the reader to keep turning the pages. The elegance in the writing greets the reader from the very first page, with well-written descriptions and interesting conversations. Some of the conversations are terrific, and the author makes it easy for readers to have clear images of the characters in their minds. The story is fast-paced and suspenseful. I wanted to see what the protagonists were up to. The tension builds quickly with their suspicions and when they learn about the bio-weapon, the reader is braced for more intense action, eager to see what happens next. The Amherst Protocol is thrilling, an enjoyable read.

Rabia Tanveer

The Amherst Protocol by Richard Whitney is a medical thriller about two reporters as they try to solve a mystery against the clock. Clay Tucker and Brian Singh are reporters for the Dallas Observer and they are covering a report on the first human heart transplant using a cloned heart. This breakthrough technology in medical science needs to be appreciated and that is exactly what Clay is hoping to do. He travels to South Africa where the first-ever heart transplant was performed and comes across a company named Pontiac Pharmaceuticals. This is where things start to take an interesting turn. No matter where they look or what turn they take, it seems like Pontiac is there. But the plot thickens when a high-ranking official from Pontiac Pharmaceuticals comes forward with some information that Clay and Brian cannot ignore. This high-ranking official is ready to assist them in whatever way possible, but they have to stop the nefarious plans that are being plotted behind the closed doors of this company. Can Clay and Brian find out what it is and expose the company in time?

Brian and Clay are the dream team; they are a force to be reckoned with. They complement each other really well; they have a power balance that ensures they act as a team and not as a cliched hero and his sidekick duo. Clay is intelligent and observant, he misses nothing and he makes a note of everything and uses it in the future. His intelligence lured me in; I didn’t have to work hard to maintain my interest because he had it from the moment he was introduced. The preface and the setting of the plot are incredibly rich and detailed. The author ensured that I did not put The Amherst Protocol down until I had read until the end and was begging for more. From the style of the narrative, universe-building, and foreshadowing, author Richard Whitney hit it out of the park.

Lesley Jones

In The Amherst Protocol by Richard Whitney, as the Dallas Observer prepares for the anniversary of the first heart transplant using cloned organs, journalist Clayton Tucker travels to Cape Town for routine research purposes. He discovers a company called Pontiac Pharmaceuticals is financing research in cloning and genetic engineering and, on further investigation, uncovers the company is not what it seems. Pontiac is owned by Omega Security Systems which is heavily involved in arms deals. Although they are now being followed, Clay and his colleague Brian Singh meet Pontiac's COO, Darius Kent, who fears that a secret laboratory in Sarajevo is hiding a biological weapon. With the help of Kent, Clay and Brian gain access to a secret laboratory by posing as researchers. They come face to face with Alastor, an almighty biological weapon capable of mass destruction. Armed with the data, the two reporters have days to make it back to the US before the weapon is tested. However, there are powerful forces following them, determined to stop them at any cost.

The Amherst Protocol by Richard Whitney is the type of book that you want to tell everyone about. The subject matter is gripping, relevant and quite disturbing. The story is extremely well-written with a multi-layered plot. There are plenty of shocking revelations that will keep you totally absorbed. Although there were many characters in the story, they all played a vital role in the plot and were introduced gradually so you did not lose focus. Each main character was well-developed, realistic and dynamic in their own way, especially Clay. He was strong-minded but vulnerable at times, which added to his likeability. Jake was a great character too, so hot-headed and fiery but with a huge heart. The moments of conflict were brilliant as they really kept me on the edge of my seat. The scenes that most touched me were in Sarajevo; they were gripping and what Clay discovered in the laboratory sent shivers down my spine. This is an exceptionally well thought out story that will keep you engaged until the very end.