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Genres: Dystopian, suspense

Stars: 4

Links: Amazon UK and Amazon US

 

The Blurb:

‘I didn’t know danger was floating behind us on the breeze as we walked along the beach, seeping in through the windows of our picture postcard life.’

The year is 2024. A new social networking site bursts onto the scene. Private Life promises total privacy, with freebies and financial incentives for all. Across the world, a record number of users sign up.

A deadly virus is discovered in a little known African province, and it’s spreading—fast. The UK announces a countrywide vaccination programme. Members of underground group Unicorn believe the disease to be man-made, and that the people are being fed lies driven by a vast conspiracy.

Vicky Keating’s boyfriend, Dex, is working for Unicorn over two hundred miles away when the first UK outbreak is detected in her home town of Shipden, on the Norfolk coast. The town is placed under military controlled quarantine and, despite official assurances that there is no need for panic, within days the virus is unstoppable.

In London, Travis begins to question the nature of the top secret data analysis project he is working on, while in Newcastle there are scores to be settled…

This is the first book in the Project Renova series; the second, Lindisfarne, is due to be published in September 2017, with the final instalment in the middle of 2018. A collection of outtake short stories, Patient Zero, is in progress, and should be available around December 2017.

 

My Review:

Relationships, paranoia, societal breakdown, and isolation are all explored in this pacy and suspenseful dystopian novel.

Vicky lives in rural Norfolk with her daughter and conspiracy-theorist boyfriend, Dex. When an outbreak of a deadly virus starts to engulf the town, Vicky starts to heed the advice that Dex left her before he went to work for Unicorn, hours away. The town is on lock-down, friends start dying, and the world as she knows it starts to change. But there is more to the story that no-one is aware of, and no one is safe…

From the first few pages, the author draws you into a world that seems so natural, so possible, that it triggered my own paranoia. The occasional insights from other points of view also added to the depth of the story. I spent half the book hiding behind my hands (technically one hand, because I needed the other to hold the e-reader) and the other half wanting to help/ punch/ hug the characters. Thought-provoking and entertaining. I’m looking forward to the next installment of the trilogy.

*Thank you to the author for my free review copy.

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