Explore John Lunn’s Zoë in our archive.
Former film star Sophie Lavalle asks private detective Casey Flood to help her find the daughter she had adopted eighteen years before. Her only clues are photographs she receives once a year of a girl growing up, each one marked ‘Her birthday’. The girl looks exactly like her. Playing the role of a talent spotter for a record label, he discovers Zoë Herkomer – the spitting image of her mother – in a sixth-form college at Adambridge, where fellow students Luke and Felix have become obsessed with her, as has her film studies teacher, Mr Traherne.
Felix invites her to sing with his band, the Mains, and Zoë’s tryout is successful. Afterwards, Luke walks Zoë home. Her father’s business is genetic engineering: her mother died when she was born. Flood and Sophie Lavalle turn up at Zoë’s home to discover the truth. Dr Herkomer turns out to be a former obsessive fan of Sophie’s, to whom she once gave a lock of her hair. From this, he explains, he cloned Zoë. Suddenly, Zoë turns up.
Two years later, Zoë is living with Mr Traherne. On the TV news she recognises Luke, now an eco-warrior demonstrating against Herkomer’s activities. She joins him in a raid on her father’s business in which Herkomer is accidentally killed. Zoë is tried and sentenced to life imprisonment. Five years later, Luke – just released himself – visits her in Holloway Prison. The effects of cloning have aged Zoë alarmingly and the two decide to poison themselves. Back in Casey Flood’s office, some time after Zoë’s funeral, a young girl comes in called Emilia Smith. She is the replica of Zoë, and she wants him to find her mother…