Rachel Whitman appears to have everything. She is young, attractive, and affluent. Her husband is the brilliant CEO of his own company. They live a big new house in a flossy Boston suburb. They have all the brand name "toys" that go along with wealth. And they have a gorgeous, sweet little six-year old son named Dylan.
But Dylan has learning disabilities. Although intelligence isn't everything, Rachel lives in a community where the rewards for brainpower are conspicuous. She fears her son will grow up never fully appreciating the wonders of life. Like so many middle-class parents who would do anything to improve life for their children--whether it means having their hair, teeth, or nose fixed--Rachel cannot accept that her child is less than perfect.
Tortured by the idea that something she did in the past caused Dylan's problems, Rachel becomes obsessed with a secret and expensive medical procedure that claims to turn slow children into geniuses.
Should she and her husband sacrifice their fortune on the risky experimental procedure for the sake of their son's happiness? Unaware of the real consequences of the brain enhancement procedure, Rachel can't know that the costs of the operation go brutally far beyond financial ones.
"Visceral chills enliven Braver's new scientific thriller. [He] paints a rich tableau of creepy medical details and middle-class status anxiety and pulls off an explosive finale."
- Publishers Weekly
"May be the top medical thriller of the year."
- Harriet Klausner, #1 Amazon.com reviewer
"Gray Matter trespasses in the frightening arena of possibility, made all the more frightening by the element of realism brought to the story by Braver's expert research and use of blood-curdling medical details.... Braver takes a fictional look at the dark side of scientific advancement and asks if the tremendous cost is truly worth the coveted prize for merely a select few. Along the way, Braver gives us a thrilling story equal to the best work of Michael Crichton or Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs."
"Gray Matter is a first-rate page-turner. In his fifth novel, [Braver] exhibits his mastery with the mechanics of storytelling. Yet what especially distinguishes this book from [his] earlier work is the emotional complexity his characters reveal... a provocative and well written...roller-coaster ride."
- Northeastern Magazine
"The title of Braver's...novel refers to the brain, to be sure, but also to the gray areas of human morality, surgical ethics, and human relationships... Braver's intriguing tale never stumbles; everything in it, no matter how appalling , fits in believably... Don't be surprised if Gray Matter tops several (nonmedical) charts."
"A smart read, put together with a keenly discriminating and observant sensibility."
"Gray Matter is a must read for any fan of medical thrillers, mysteries, science fiction, or just damn good writing."
"A page turner. Deftly blends suspense and humanism for a very readable and exciting book."
- The Armenian Mirror Spectator
"Packs the emotional wallop and tension of a Stephen King novel with the cutting-edge science and engrossing pace of Robin Cook or Michael Crichton. Rivting from page one!"
- Robert B. Parker, New York Times best-selling author
"Gray Matter is one of those rare and stunning thrillers that not only made my pulse race; it also challenged my firmly held beliefs about human intelligence. This is a thought-provoking and controversial novel that will chill you to the bone."
- Tess Gerritsen, New York Times best-selling author