Plague – Book Review

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Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Plague. Ciuma. Pest. Plaga. In any language, a world of power and fear.”

Multi-genre book fans, you need to read this! An astounding read that will capture every emotion you could imagine with a plot to satisfy your inner dark side. Things aren’t always as they seem in this book which is what I think made it so spectacular! The crime fighting, mystery solving elements sold this book for me, and everything else was just an added bonus. So happy to be hosting todays spot on the blog tour with these other amazing book bloggers!

Power is a contagion as strong as any disease – and it can kill.

Work on a London tube line is halted by the discovery of an ancient plague pit and in it, a very recent corpse. A day later another body is found, also in a plague pit. This victim is linked to the Palace of Westminster, where rumours swirl around the Prime Minister and his rivals.

As the number of deaths climbs, the media stokes fear. Government assurances are disbelieved. Everyone feels threatened. This has to be resolved and fast.

A disgraced civil servant and a policeman must find the answer before Westminster closes for recess. Power, money and love curdle into a deadly brew that could bring down the Mother of Parliaments.

Time is running out. And it’s not clear what – or who – will survive. 

The beginning

Wow, such a dark opening to the story! Who’d have thought such a short prologue could pack such a punch and make you ask so many questions?! Murder, mystery and intrigue seem to be on the menu for this book and already, it definitely seemed like my kind of read. I was immediately taken aback by the author’s style of writing and just how detailed and captivating it was from that very first page. It’s clear the author really knows her stuff about London and hearing about Cassie’s discoveries was just so fascinating. It became impossible not to get drawn into this story, even with the historical and political elements (which I’m not usually a fan of). Such a strong opening to the book and I was eager to learn more about Cassie and her journey. If the synopsis was anything to go by, I knew I’d be hooked pretty quickly!

The discovery of a mass burial site/plague pit sparks panic, but has it been used more recently than the architects believe? The story seemed to unravel in such a dark and unexpected way, and I loved how the possibility of fresh murder was coming to light. I loved how terrifying this was! I do love a book that keeps you guessing and forces you to ask questions constantly, and already, this book delivered on every count. As yet another murder is unveiled, Cassie finds herself directly linked to this one, which instantly made me put myself in her shoes. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have some sort of connection with a murder without even realising you do. What exactly had this second killing got to do with Cassie? Was she in danger? Could she even keep herself safe? The opening of the book is completely gripping and I had no doubts to rest of the book would follow suit.

The detective work in this case is covered perfectly and it’s clear so much research has gone into every detail to get things just right. There’s nothing I enjoy more in a book than gathering details and facts about a murder case and trying to solve the whole thing myself before the detectives do! Unsurprisingly, I haven’t been successful yet, but this story in particular made me want to quit my job and become a detective. (Okay, maybe a little too ambitious…) The way the public began to talk about the plague returning to modern day London (after news about the plague pits circulates) was intriguing, and it would be interesting to see the angle the author takes on this topic throughout the book. With a new exciting job role on the cards, something she’d been craving for a while, what would Cassie’s new part be in these murders? I just knew I’d love what was to come!

“She had been asked to do the almost impossible and she’d accepted. She was about to step back into the murky world of crime and murder, and yet her heart felt lighter.”

I was surprised by how involved I felt in the case alongside Cassie, and I often got lost in the author’s words. Discussions, interviews and interrogations were so complex, and the detail involved in each chapter was incredibly thorough. When we’re not following Cassie’s point of view in the book, we follow another character who seems to know much more about the case. What exactly is going on here?! The mystery surrounding this naturally forces the reader to ask question upon question, and the book very quickly becomes such an involving read. In my eyes, the author has created an opening to this book that cannot be faulted, perfectly setting the reader up for what is to come, whilst also creating such a pleasant reading experience. Characters are so memorable and unique, but I felt like we hadn’t seen the best of them just yet… Bring on the middle!

The middle

A break-in causes panic for Cassie and the amount of mystery and excitement in the book escalates. Just as a new victim in a string of murders feels safe and protected from her attacker, she soon ends up dead, shocking everyone working the case. How on earth had she been killed whilst under protection? I loved all the unexpected twists and just how these scenes make us think harder about what else there is to uncover. Is there a serial killer on the loose? Was there a pattern to those innocent people being targeted? How exactly did Cassie link in with all this? I did really like how this character coped in her new role and with the news of multiple murders, and I thought this character had been developed incredibly well the more we read. That doesn’t mean the other characters weren’t – every one stuck in my mind in their own unique way, which I found so special. I couldn’t fault anything in this book so far.

As well as following Cassie’s work on such an important case, we also learn about her personal life too, and how she quickly becomes attached to the handsome and incredibly wealthy, Lawrence Delahaye. I had a feeling that the development of this relationship would play a big part in the plot. I didn’t know how or why at this stage, but I was curious to find out! Would his power and authority make a difference to the outcome of the case? Could they work together? Or was Lawrence simply using her for his own personal gain? With the media being used against Cassie and the team, it sparks more suspicion about exactly why Cassie is being targeted and who by. With so many unanswered questions, the characters, as well as myself, begin to get even deeper into this case, which soon turns out to be much more than just a group of murders. There was something more to this and I needed to know what it was!

Time was running out and with only days to go before she had to hand in her report on the case, Cassie would have to work quicker and think harder if she was to get to the bottom of this mess. The author consistently held my attention through each chapter and it was so difficult to take a break from this journey at any one time. Uncovering each clue and putting the pieces together seemed to be so seamless, confirming the fact that this author is one talented lady. No matter how much I looked for any flaws in the plot, (and believe me, I did look) I simply couldn’t find anything to question apart from whether Cassie and the team would get the result they both want and need from this case! Suspense is built up incredibly well and the entire book has been a joy to experience the whole way through. I was really curious about Lawrence’s character at this stage – would Cassie end up confronting him, or keep what she knows to herself?

“Think about this, please. It’s completely inappropriate. You need to decide what you want, Cassie. Do you really want your career back? This isn’t the way to get it.”

Things were becoming a little too much for Cassie. Others begin to notice she’s not herself, which we come to realise is a result of both working on the case and complications of her personal life too. Who’d have thought that she’d let emotional feelings and men get in the way of having a clear head? However, it isn’t long before they could potentially get a the break in the case they need. Could Cassie and Andrew’s theory check out? I admired how hard Cassie has worked on this case from beginning to end and the whole ride had been so involving and exciting for me. The way the author prompts readers to piece together evidence of the case with statements from key characters was simply mind blowing to me, and I genuinely felt like a huge part of this investigation myself! Readers are brought into the book and made to feel every word, and that’s something that isn’t done so easily. How on earth would this story end?!

The end

Lust is soon replaced with fear and concern as another crime scene is found at an inconvenient time for Cassie, but this could be exactly what they needed to find. However, could her recent encounter with Lawrence cost her much more than just her dignity? With her personal and work life colliding and spiraling out of control, Cassie must resolve the case by the deadline or risk her entire career crashing and burning. With so much at stake, would she be able to get the result she needs? The pace of the book began to pick up at this point and I was completely in love with the route the author takes in the story. I felt so attached to Cassie and Andrew and I was happy this relationship became stronger as time went on. I was also shocked about the fraudster inside Lawrence that we didn’t know about before! With answers revealing themselves, we were getting closer to the book’s finale, but just what would the outcome of the case be?

With a final set up in place and the arrest of a main suspect, Cassie begins to feel some sort of relief. However, things were far from over. The author seems to round things off well, but, when we least expect it, she keeps things moving in an unexpected way, with the same thoroughness and detail we’ve seen from the very start. I took a moment at this point in the book to compare the Cassie we met at the beginning of the book to the person she’s become now. I felt as though her confidence had grown after everything she’d been through and her experience in this case would surely put her in good stead to get her old role back. That’s if she hadn’t already blown her chances! I couldn’t concentrate on anything else before I’d finished this book, and I seemed to fly through the ending chapters. Always the sign of a great ending!

Cassie gets a shock (as does the reader) and I began to worry for her safety. This part of the book had my emotions everywhere and I felt the author had absolutely nailed these scenes. I went from feeling the joy and relief from some sort of closure on the case, to panic and uncertainty when the danger escalated! With time well and truly running out for what seemed like both the case and for Cassie, I wondered whether things would actually turn out the way we initially thought. There’s so much packed into the ending, but even though it’s so action-packed, it felt so natural to read and it didn’t feel like information overload. The words flowed and the plot unraveled like a work of art. I was left as speechless as I’d been countless times throughout the book!

“The Houses of Parliament were in recess for conference season tomorrow. Time had finally run out.”

With such a dark turn of events and the brutal change in one particular character, I thought the ending of the book was superb. The author seems to collect everything that lovers of political thriller, crime, mystery and romance love, and create the ultimate mix! I was completely gobsmacked with the direction of the story and just how the author ends things. There’s action and suspense until the very last moment, and as with every single part of this book, I couldn’t fault it. I think there will be some recovery time needed after reading this, but I’m so excited to read the next instalment in this series. Absolutely phenomenal! I know so many readers who will love this one, and if you’re a fan of multi-genre books, this is most definitely one to add to your list. I know I’ll be re-reading!

Overall thoughts

Ending this book made me incredibly sad – I just wanted it to continue forever and I am quite literally feeling some kind of loss now I’ve finished! Characters were so easy to invest in, some of them even betrayed my trust in the end, but without all that, the story wouldn’t be as impactful as it was. The entire plot was faultless and and the overall reading experience was simply out of this world. A solid five star read and I’m already craving more from this author!

A huge thank you to the author, Julie Anderson, for my beautiful copy of this book and to Emma at Damp Pebbles for my place on the blog tour! You can purchase your own copy of Plague over on Amazon, available on Kindle and in paperback. Make sure you’re following the author over on Twitter and Instagram for more updates!

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. damppebbles says:

    Thanks so much 😍

    Like

    1. Em says:

      No problem, Emma! 😊

      Like

  2. J.S Harrison says:

    great review, I must admit I do love a dark twist here and there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Em says:

      Thank you! Oooh yes, it’s my favourite thing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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