This excellent novel is several things at once. Set in the very near future, about 2016, it is a kind of science fiction, following through the logic of experiments that both are and might be happening now, namely the techniques of cloning that first seized public attention with Dolly the sheep. It is also a thriller, a tale of discovery, escape, hiding and pursuit that ends dramatically on a Scottish mountain, and its pace, tension and ever-present sense of danger are worthy of a latter-day John Buchan.
Above all, though, it is the story of 15-year-old Dominic, the unique human being to whom the title refers. Dominic is unique, unenviably, because he is the only living clone of another person, illegally made at the behest of his rich, obsessive, domineering father to replicate his gifted ‘brother’, killed in a traffic accident at university. Worse still, Dominic stumbles on the evidence of his origins at a time of ruthless media interest and popular hysteria on cloning, so exposure makes his life unbearable. Dominic, an attractive character who tells his own story, endures a long ordeal of perilous adventure before proving to himself and others that he is unique in a different way – himself alone, resourceful and stubborn, and quite unlike his brother despite their shared DNA. His story makes a terrific book – exciting, heartening, intelligent, and all too topical.