Off Target by Eve Smith

An unthinkable decision
A deadly mistake

In an all-too-possible near future, when genetic engineering has become the norm for humans, not just crops, parents are prepared to take incalculable risks to ensure that their babies are perfect … altering genes that may cause illness, and more…

Susan has been trying for a baby for years, and when an impulsive one-night stand makes her dream come true, she’ll do anything to keep her daughter and ensure her husband doesn’t find out … including the unthinkable. She believes her secret is safe. For now.

But as governments embark on a perilous genetic arms race and children around the globe start experiencing a host of distressing symptoms – even taking their own lives – something truly horrendous is unleashed. Because those children have only one thing in common, and people are starting to ask questions…

Bestselling author of The Waiting Rooms, Eve Smith returns with an authentic, startlingly thought-provoking, disturbing blockbuster of a thriller that provides a chilling glimpse of a future that’s just one modification away…


Off Target by Eve Smith is an exciting and deeply disturbing story about the length parents will go to, to have a healthy, ‘perfect’ baby! Relevant and compelling, the tension comes from the powerful themes it deals with, the genetic modification of the foetus and the consequences they have on the children. It also looks at the troubling way we treat those who are ‘different’ and how intolerance leads to fear and violence.

Now this may all feel very heavy and indeed Eve Smith has layered quite painful and emotional issues throughout her narrative, yet she does so within a fast paced and exquisitely written thriller.  It punches hard, delivering a provocative storyline that will have your heart racing in excitement. She delivers on the traditional elements of a thriller, crime, morality, a ticking clock counting down to a terrifying conclusion, while teaching us about an issue that has consequences beyond our wildest imagination. To do all this and deliver a story that will leave the reader unable to think of anything but the story she is telling, is a massive ask of any writer, but Eve Smith handles it with convincing ease. 

Within a dystopian world, which is not as far in the future as we all might think,  she weaves a story that hinges on the actions of the medical, political and religious forces that are battling it out to influence a growing movement to genetically eradicate disease. Then adds a much more emotional element, by introducing characters and exploring the impact on their lives and relationships.  

I love the way she probed the often-dubious actions of scientists and the violent reactions of the religious right, leaving me the reader to decide if we have the knowledge and the right to play Russian roulette with our children.  She treats her readers to a story that explores the ethics and makes it a stunningly thought provoking thriller, because she is willing to tackle a subject most writers would steer clear of.

You can purchase Off Target directly from the publisher Orenda Books. Or from Amazon and Waterstones.

About the author

Eve Smith writes speculative fiction, mainly about the things that scare her. She attributes her love of all things dark and dystopian to a childhood watching Tales of the Unexpected and black-and-white Edgar Allen Poe double bills. In this world of questionable facts, stats and news, she believes storytelling is more important than ever to engage people in real life issues.
Set twenty years after an antibiotic crisis, her debut novel The Waiting Rooms was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize First Novel Award. Her flash fiction has been shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award and highly commended for The Brighton Prize.
Eve’s previous job as COO of an environmental charity took her to research projects across Asia, Africa and the Americas, and she has an ongoing passion for wild creatures, wild science and far-flung places. A Modern Languages graduate from Oxford, she returned to Oxfordshire fifteen years ago to set up home with her husband.
When she’s not writing she’s romping across fields after her dog, trying to organise herself and her family or off exploring somewhere new.
Follow Eve on Twitter: @evecsmith and her website Eve Smith

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