TIES THAT KILL by Deven Greene, FI
TIES THAT KILL by Deven Greene, FI
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The Big Thrill Discusses TIES THAT KILL with Deven Greene

Book Cover: TIES THAT KILLFrom pathologist and “Erica Rosen MD” author Deven Greene, TIES THAT KILL is a gripping medical thriller in which a professor recovering from a stroke discovers that he has many half-siblings who may carry the same blood clot risk he does—but someone out there is trying to kill them all. Soon he is in terrible danger even as he must prove his innocence in a series of murders connected by one thing: DNA.

Chemistry Professor Martin Starling has a stroke and learns he has a genetic mutation that caused the abnormal blood clot resulting in his disability. Knowing he is the product of artificial insemination, the professor turns to genealogy companies to locate unknown paternal relatives he may have, wanting to arrange for them to be tested for the mutation. He is surprised to learn he has many half-siblings. He is even more surprised to learn that someone is killing them. Could he be next?

Deven Greene recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest Medical Thriller, TIES THAT KILL.

A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?

Although I must confess I haven’t sent my own DNA to a commercial testing company, I am intrigued by the popularity of genealogy. Newer techniques focusing on DNA to hunt down criminals using information from relatively distant relatives are exciting tools now available to law enforcement, although I realize this is somewhat controversial, and privacy regulations must be followed. I used writing this book as an excuse to do a deep dive into genealogy testing and learned a lot in the process. The testing continues to be increasingly sophisticated, and I was impressed with how robust the commercial companies are in tracing roots and comparing DNA between individuals to find close and distant relations. Of course, I explored other things in writing this novel, including puns, UFC fighting, and the operation of sperm banks.

When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?

I like to work with unlikely protagonists. My previous books (the Erica Rosen MD Trilogy) featured a female pediatrician. Many people think of pediatricians as doctors in low-pressure jobs—doing physicals on healthy children and filling out forms for camp and school—but nothing is further from the truth, and I tried to show that in the trilogy. My current protagonist, a male chemistry professor, is another unlikely hero. He has the usual family problems and a demanding academic job. He uses his intelligence and academic connections to tackle the situation at hand. His relationship with his career and his children undergoes changes in the process.

In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?

As in most of my writing, I hope the reader will gain knowledge about the main subject. In this case, I hope they learn something about genealogy, DNA testing, and the differences between the analysis done by genealogy companies and crime labs.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

My next book (not yet titled) involves organ transplantation. What if the government donated the organs of executed prisoners to patients awaiting transplants? What could possibly go wrong? The story raises some ethical questions that I hope the reader will find interesting.


Deven Greene lives in northern California, where she enjoys writing fiction, most of which involves science or medicine. Her background (PhD in biochemistry and MD degree with over 20 years practicing pathology) allows her to write accurate and plausible stories. She previously wrote the Erica Rosen MD Trilogy, with the final book released in 2023. Her current book, Ties That Kill, is a stand-alone novel.

To learn more about the author, please visit her website.



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