Short, clear, yet in depth.
This is a straightforward exposition; it doesn't try to come at the material from a novel angle (cf Ridley's "Genome), nor does it dwell on arguments such as nature vs. nurture. What it does do is explain the science in remarkable depth in a short book. For me, much of the material was review/clarification, but I suspect it would work for those with less background. Aldridge is disciplined in what she covers, writes clearly, uses diagrams when it will help, and seems to choose just the correct level of detail. She includes details you might not expect to find, when they are important: for example, some human proteins cannot be made by bacteria because humans add sugars to these protein molecules AFTER they are created using RNA, and bacteria do not have this capability. I do wish the index were more complete, it just is not helpful enough if you wish to review something covered earlier. Also, in the last section on bio-technology, Aldridge is much less disciplined, tries to cover too much too fast, and I found myself with numerous unanswered questions.
Buy The Thread of Life: The Story of Genes and Genetic Engineering by Susan Aldridge At The Lowest Price!