James Barney's debut novel was of particular interest to me. As an anthropology student who has also worked in the life sciences industry, I was interested to see how these two disciplines crossed over in his tale. The book starts in 1970s Iraq, before Saddam Hussein's rise to power, with Daniel and Rebecca Talbot excavating a ziggurat. The two archaeologists are convinced that there is more to this particular mound than has previously been believed -- a suspicion confirmed for the reader when they are killed.Cut forward to modern times when their daughter, Kathleen Sainsbury (a child of seven at the time her parents passed) is a scientist working on gene therapy issues related to human aging. When a man from her parents' past gives her a mysterious relic from the Iraqi ziggurat where her parents died, the multi-national intrigue begins.Barney creates multi-dimensional characters, none of whom are quite what they seem. His pacing is outstanding, and I didn't want to put the book down once I'd started it. If you like technothrillers that also tackle questions of ethics (such as gene therapy), you'll enjoy this work.