A LOVELY WAY TO BURN

Written by Louise Welsh

Review written by Katherine Armstrong

Katherine Armstrong has worked in publishing for over six years. She is a crime fiction Editor for an independent publishing company in London.


A LOVELY WAY TO BURN
John Murray
RRP: £12.99
Released: 20th March 2014
Hbk

I'm finishing reading Louise Welsh's new book, A Lovely Way to Burn, in Orrison in France as I'm walking the first part of the Camino Way from St -Jean-de-Port to Pamplona, Spain.

Reading about a plague sweeping through London and wiping out nearly everyone living there is - despite the setting of green fields, sunshine and the Pyrenees - somewhat apt as the Camino is traditionally a pilgrimage that people have been taking for centuries, especially after the plague years of the thirteenth century.

Stevie Flint, a glamorous TV salesgirl, is bored of her job and wondering if her burgeoning relationship with surgeon Simon Sharkey is going anywhere, especially after he stands her up for a date.

Going to his flat, Stevie finds him dead in bed; was it suicide or was Simon a possible victim of 'the Sweats', a mysterious illness that is killing people all over the country?

However, when Stevie is given a note from Simon asking her to deliver a package to a Dr Reah - and to trust no one else - she is thrown into a world of danger as she finds out that Dr Reah has died of the fever and then Stevie herself is attacked for the mysterious package. What was Simon hiding that could have gotten him killed and how, in a country full of terror and death, can the truth behind one man's death matter more than finding a cure that could save millions?

Louise Welsh has come up with a truly terrifying premise and this is the first book in a trilogy called Plague Times. She skilfully increases the paranoia and the fear that even as a reader you feel, as you become engrossed by a quickly disintegrating world that, after the London riots, feels all too believable. Not for the faint-hearted!

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