SOMEWHERE IN THE CROWD IS A KILLER
Bonfire Night and St James’s Park is filled with thousands of Anonymous protesters in a stand-off with the police. When a cloaked, Guido Fawkes mask-wearing body is discovered the following morning, Kate Riley and Zain Harris from the Police Crime Commissioner’s office are called in.
The corpse has been eaten away by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus. The autopsy reveals the victim was a senior civil servant, whose work in international development involved saving lives. Why would anyone want him dead?
THEY WILL STRIKE AGAIN
As the research team looking into the origins of the deadly virus scramble to discover an antidote, first one, then another pharmacist goes missing. Meanwhile, a dark truth starts to emerge about the murder victim: he was an aggressive man, whose bullying behaviour resulted in the suicide attempt of one of his former staff members.
AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT . . .
With thirty lives potentially at stake, Kate and Zain have their work cut out for them. Can they find the two missing pharmacists in time, or will they too end up dead?
First To Die is a brilliant follow up to Cut to the Bone which I read and really enjoyed last year, so I was excited to see what Alex Caan would come up with next. It covers very topical issues and if you look back at recent news, you can see that the crimes explored here are certainly within the realms of possibility, which is what makes this idea so scary.
The main characters, Kate Riley and Zain Harris are really starting to grow on me; they are both different to each other and they come from very different backgrounds, but they are also two very flawed characters and this is perhaps what attracts them to each other. They make a great team and it has been really interesting watching their working relationship develop in this book.
There is tension from the offset after Kate discovers a body following a protest that took place in St. James’s Park the night before. But it soon becomes apparent that the body has been contaminated by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus, which means Kate herself may have become infected. And as the investigation deepens it becomes clear that there may be more people at risk.
The mystery in this book is a really chilling one. From the start we can see that we have a killer here who is highly intelligent and may have access to lethal substances. At the beginning of the book I wasn’t sure if the killer was specifically targeting people or whether this would become a national crisis, which is also what the detectives working on the case fear. Alex certainly gets the intrigue going and he kept me turning the pages as we raced towards the conclusion.
The ending of this book has really left me wondering what’s going on in the character’s lives now and how they are all doing. This is a very clever novel and Alex Caan’s writing grips you from the first page. I can’t wait to see where he will take Kate and Zain next.
Publication date: 14th June 2018
Print length: 368 pages
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