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Lockdown by Peter May

The Blurb:

A CITY IN QUARANTINE London, the epicenter of a global pandemic, is a city in lockdown. Violence and civil disorder simmer. Martial law has been imposed. No-one is safe from the deadly virus that has already claimed thousands of victims. Health and emergency services are overwhelmed. A MURDERED CHILD At a building site for a temporary hospital, construction workers find a bag containing the rendered bones of a murdered child. A remorseless killer has been unleashed on the city; his mission is to take all measures necessary to prevent the bones from being identified. A POWERFUL CONSPIRACY D.I. Jack MacNeil, counting down the hours on his final day with the Met, is sent to investigate. His career is in ruins, his marriage over and his own family touched by the virus. Sinister forces are tracking his every move, prepared to kill again to conceal the truth. Which will stop him first - the virus or the killers? Written over fifteen years ago, this prescient, suspenseful thriller is set against a backdrop of a capital city in quarantine, and explores human experience in the grip of a killer virus.

About Peter May:

"Peter May is a writer I'd follow to the ends of the earth" New York Times Peter May is the multi award-winning author of: - the Lewis Trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland; - the China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell; - the Enzo Files, featuring Scottish forensic scientist Enzo MacLeod, which is set in France. The sixth and final Enzo book is Cast Iron (January 2017, Riverrun). He has also written several standalone books: - I'll Keep You Safe (January 2018, Riverrun) - Entry Island (January 2014, Quercus UK) - Runaway (January 2015, Quercus UK) - Coffin Road (January 2016, Riverrun) May had a successful career as a television writer, creator, and producer. One of Scotland's most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama. He is the creator of three major television drama series and presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels. Born and raised in Scotland he lives in France. His breakthrough as a best-selling author came with The Lewis Trilogy. After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, the first of the The Lewis Trilogy - The Blackhouse - was published in France as L'Ile des Chasseurs d'Oiseaux where it was hailed as "a masterpiece" by the French national newspaper L'Humanité. His novels have a large following in France. The trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world's largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam. The Blackhouse was published in English by the award-winning Quercus (a relatively young publishing house which did not exist when the book was first presented to British publishers). It went on to become an international best seller, and was shortlisted for both Barry Award and Macavity Award when it was published in the USA. The Blackhouse won the US Barry Award for Best Mystery Novel at Bouchercon in Albany NY, in 2013.

My Review:

I expect that before too long, there will be many books set during our current pandemic era, but incredibly this was not one of them. This almost prophetic tale was written long before covid-19 was ever heard of and apparently rejected by the author's publishers as too far fetched and something that could never happen. Peter May had written this story based around the H5N1 bird flu strain that was around in 2005, but took the story to another level where the virus successfully transmitted itself from human to human with an 80% death rate amongst it's victims. Greater London was in lockdown which had become a militarised zone with a strict curfew, with the army have orders to shoot to kill. In the midst of all of this chaos DI Jack MacNeil was on the trail of a child killer, but links to the root of the pandemic were becoming apparent, and a threat to him and all that he held dear. This book was not for the faint-hearted but a gripping tale nonetheless.

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