Underlying Crimes
A Bio-crime Series

Reviews for Underlying Crimes

"Compelling, gripping, I couldn't put it down. Diane W. -- Boca Raton, Florida

"Not Stieg Larsson. I would call it the Sopranos of Biotechnology!" GMK -- Gothenburg, Sweden

"I am using Mead's Underlying Crimes in the college course I teach." Jan K. - East Lansing, Michigan

I couldn't put this book down due to the suspense factor. Although a work of fiction, the threat it portrays is very possible. Underlying Crimes provides insight and information into the Bio-Tech environment and its capability to promote chaos with the most serious ramifications. 
Sandra T.  -- Belmont, California

Underlying Crimes is a bio-tech mystery ripped from news headlines of today and tomorrow. All the elements are there, corrupt politicians, police officers, and corporate actors. The question for the reader is does all this gene manipulation do harm as well as good?...it quickly drew me into the story so that I cheered for Jeremy and Jo to right the wrongs.  James V. M. -- East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Joann Mead's first novel explores the dark underside of the biotechnology industry where the benefits to humanity take a second place to the profits that can be made, no matter what the risk or the consequences. When Jo, a member of a research team at biotech giant, Allbio, discovers that the disposal of altered cells may pose a serious health threat to the community, she is followed, threatened, and ultimately physically harmed to prevent her from revealing her suspicions. Resilient and determined, Jo finds herself stumbling through a frightening maze of lies and deceit that could ultimately lead to the uncontrollable spread of deadly bacteria. Working with her husband, Jeremy, Jo manages to gather evidence that could expose Allbio's dangerous and unethical practices. But Jo is only one woman up against a powerful biotech corporation as well as the greedy and corrupt politicians in her tiny state. Mead opens the door for the reader to the complex world of biotech research - the amazing possibilities for medical breakthroughs paired with the disturbing potential for unleashing biological mayhem. Read this book if you want a fast-paced thriller but be prepared to view those pharmaceutical advertisements in a somewhat different light.       Jeanie C. -- Tucson, Arizona

See my INTERVIEW on the Book Jeanie

Joann, you worked for years in the biotech industry so we know that you have the scientific background for writing a crime/medical mystery. But what exactly inspired you to write this very intriguing story?
Biotech is a “dual use” technology; it has the potential for good and evil. The obvious benefits are the creation of drugs and therapies but the dangers could be the escape of those very same genes, perhaps engineered DNA that quells or dampens immunity. I was inspired to tell the story of what could happen if these dangerous genes escape.
The secrecy and intense competition involved in your main character's profession was integral to building suspense in this story. Is this typical of the bio-tech industry?
Intense competition is not uncommon in big corporations. It also depends on who leads the company. Some leaders have no moral compass.
The disregard for safety measures in biotech research is chilling in your novel. How real is this danger?
In the US, the FDA mantra is purity, sterility and safety of the drug product . On the other hand, in the biotech’s local community, the sewage regulations are usually enforced by the town council’s sewage commissioner, not always the most competent person. 
Your story ends with the potential for a sequel. Is that in your plans or have you started another book?
The last chapter of Underlying Crimes is the first chapter of my next “biocrime” novel. Jo and Jeremy Blair are on a crusade to uncover the devious world of rogue scientists tinkering with deadly DNA and virulent microbes in their do-it-yourself basement lab.  
You chose to self-publish this book, your first novel. Was this difficult to accomplish? Why did you choose this route?
Traditional publishers are consolidating. The few remaining publishers look for established, well-known authors to sell their books. Self-publishing has changed the paradigm for new authors to leap frog the usual channels and get their books out. After eight years of writing and researching, it was time to get my book into print.
What would be your advice to first time authors like yourself?
Write about your passion, re-write. Follow your instincts. Write about what you know, what you imagine. You don’t need to know where you are going. You will get there eventually.
Underlying Crimes is available on Amazon, in print as well as a download to your Kindle.
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