**BLOG TOUR** First to Die by Alex Caan

22nd June 2018

What the publisher says:

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?

 

What I say:

The premise for this book intrigued me from the start and the story started with a bang as a dead body is found on Bonfire Night in St James’ Park following a standoff between demonstrators and the police.  The mystery deepens when the man has injuries like nothing ever seen before.  Follow this with the discovery that he is a high ranking civil servant involved in international development and the case becomes even harder to crack.

The characters were intriguing as they worked together to find out what happened, with hints at their pasts brought neatly into the story rather than as off putting info dumps which can sometimes happen.  None of them was perfect and they seemed more realistic because of this.    Zain in particular was an interesting character, working partly on instinct and partly on investigative skills.  A background in the Secret Services was a novel and intriguing plot device, allowing for shadowy figures to be involved in the story.

The story itself was a complex one, requiring concentration to follow as there were so many strands involved with the history of the murder victim being investigated along with the lives of the missing pharmacists and the source of the virus.  Nothing about this book was predictable or boring and I wasn’t left with the feeling that the loose ends had been tied up by coincidence (a particular pet hate of mine) nor that there were unresolved issues.  The scene was clearly left open however for the relationship between and the characters of Zain and Kate to be explored further.

 

Rating 4 out of 5

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