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on 11 August 2017
I really enjoyed Louise Welsh's first book "The Cutting Floor", so I was really looking forward to this one, but I think she wasn't completely clear here what sort of book she wanted to write. There are basically 3 stories going on: a murder mystery, a sort of Spanish flu plague, and a tale of wicked goings on in the evil pharmaceutical industry. I'm not really sure they hang together the way they should. Our heroine really doesn't seem bothered with the fact that half the population of London is dropping dead around her - this seems like an inconvenient distraction to her quest to find the killer of her boyfriend. And while her earlier book had very strong characterisation, full of spiky, quirky people, with this one the personalities didn't come across as well, most of the folk in it being a bit bland.

So the book starts well, sags in the middle and picks up (fortunately) for the finale.
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on 7 August 2017
A taut thriller set in a time of plague. Despite the scenes of death around her Stevie I'd determined to find out who killed her lover. The scenes of London during 'the sweats ' are brilliantly done and the culmination of her search is nightmarish.
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on 19 June 2014
I enjoyed reading this book, wanting to know "whodunit" amid the background of the plague sweeping across the world. It was not a challenging read and I raced through it quite quickly, but that is not a bad thing if the story keeps you involved. This is part one of a trilogy and I will be interested to find out where the author takes us next.
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on 18 September 2017
Bought as gift .
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on 22 August 2017
Good read,story romps along . Will be reading next two .
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on 12 August 2015
Very enjoyable.
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Stephanie (Stevie) Flint lives in London, where she works for a TV shopping channel and has recently started dating Dr Simon Sharkey. When he stands her up she is not particularly upset, but, after a few days, decides to visit his flat and remove the few things she has left there. What she finds is his dead body and, although it seems that he died naturally, she is not convinced. However, then Stevie suddenly becomes ill and spends several days in her flat before she recovers. Once she is able to rejoin the world, she finds it has changed forever – a pandemic is sweeping the globe and panic is everywhere. In London, the illness is known as “the Sweats” and it seems that Stevie has both caught, and recovered, from it. She is then visited by Simon’s cousin, and finds that he has left something for her which may have got him killed and put her in danger.

This entertaining novel is part a mystery, concerning Stevie’s investigation into Simon’s death and part thriller, which is the story of the pandemic. The author builds the tension well - the sickness begins with Stevie sitting next to someone ill on the tube and ends with a major crisis; curfews, unrest on the streets, abandoned cars and people dying all around her. In fact, there is so much death that even the police are not interested in the possible murder of Simon. What secrets has he left behind and will they get Stevie killed, even if the Sweats failed to end her life? Her investigation will take her through her boyfriend’s childhood, personal life and scandals in medical research, in a bid to discover the truth.

The pandemic storyline worked for me slightly better than Stevie’s desire to find out why Simon had been killed. Her feelings for him seemed tenuous at best and, towards the end of the novel, the storyline seemed to veer into the unbelievable. However, the parts of the book which dealt with London, and the world, in crisis was certainly well explored and written. I was interested enough in the plot, and with the main character of Stevie, to want to read on.

Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 12 January 2015
This is the first book by this author I have read, and it is an ambitious one; the first novel in a Plague Times trilogy.

Stevie’s life revolves around her job in tv, and spending time with her boyfriend Simon. Stevie and Simon haven’t been together very long, and she doesn’t know an awful lot about him, especially as he seems to have kept parts of his private life very separate from their relationship. When Simon dies suddenly Stevie becomes aware of a bigger picture; London and the wider world is falling victim to a spreading illness, ‘the Sweats’.

This book left me in two minds, and it took me a while to work out why. Essentially, the book encompasses two stories; a big story of a world where a mysterious disease has lead to fear which has caused people to act outside their norms; and a small story where the death of one man is a mystery in itself, and one which Stevie finds herself compelled to unravel. I found the big story fascinating, but the small story not so much. I also found the character of Stevie herself a bit annoying; a slightly odd mixture in her character of naivety and brashness, and a single-mindedness blended with a strong sense of self-absorption didn’t seem to add up to an altogether convincingly rounded characterisation.

I hold out great hopes for the remaining two books in this trilogy for two reasons: firstly, I believe that there’s a whole lot more to be said on the big story, which is reason enough in itself to read more; but secondly, I’d like to believe that the small story introduced in this book is not just a filler for the big story, but is the start of a more indepth thread which is more interesting than the small story is, as it stands so far in this the first book. That may sound complicated, but I don’t want to add spoilers to the book. Suffice to say that I will be looking forward with anticipation to the other books in this series, as I definitely want to learn more about what happens overall. I hope that the journey will prove worthwhile.
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on 25 April 2014
This is the first book I've read by Louise Welsh and I was a little disappointed, given her reputation for writing 'literary' thrillers. The characters are mostly just sketched out caricatures, with the exception of Stevie Flint - and even she feels like a fleshed-out caricature rather than a real person. It's difficult to understand Stevie's motivation for pursuing her boyfriend's killer - why would anyone do this when people are dying of plague-like symptoms all around them? Yes, the book is an entertaining page-turner, but it's one I'll pass to a charity shop.
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on 14 June 2016
It doesn't look like murder in a city full of death.
A pandemic called 'The Sweats' is sweeping the globe. London is a city in crisis. Hospitals begin to fill with the dead and dying, but Stevie Flint is convinced that the sudden death of her boyfriend Dr Simon Sharkey was not from natural causes. As roads out of London become gridlocked with people fleeing infection, Stevie's search for Simon's killers takes her in the opposite direction, into the depths of the dying city and a race with death.

My Thoughts: May Contain Spoilers

From reading the description of the book I felt that the story wasn't quite what I was expecting. I thought the story was going to be along the same lines as Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. The reason being is that I thought that with the killer flu going around called The Sweats’ it reminded me of the killer flu Captain Trips’. The story turned out to be a crime thriller with the flu has it’s background.

The main character and our heroine Stevie Flint is quite spunky and I quite liked her as a character and as this book is only the first in a trilogy the reader knows that they will see more of her. Also because she has had the flu and has survived it will be interesting to see how the further books will develop.

This book was quite pacy and I quite enjoyed it and will look out for the next instalment but I was just expecting something else.
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