Monday 5 January 2015

Review: A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh

A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh
John Murray Press
Release date:
01 January 2015
Rating: ***
and a half stars
Back cover blurb: 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. A LOVELY WAY TO BURN is the first outbreak in the PLAGUE TIMES trilogy. Chilling, tense and completely compelling, it's Louise Welsh writing at the height of her powers. 
A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh is the first novel in 'the plague times' trilogy. Whilst a little curious I cannot say that I am desperate to read the two novels that are to follow. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy the novel, I just felt it was a little lacking. But then I suppose if it's part of a trilogy then there are bound to me a few questions left unanswered so perhaps I am being overly critical!

Stevie (Stephanie) Flint is a 'sales girl' on a well known shopping channel, she has a ball everyday at work thanks to the company of her best friend Joanie. She also dates a top surgeon and is happy with their 'casual' relationship, so much so that she isn't overly bothered when he stands her up. 

But Stevie is nothing if not curious, and so when Simon doesn't return her calls, she decides to go to his flat. It is here that she makes a gruesome discovery-Simon's body. Stevie is adamant that it is not suicide as the police suspect, but what makes her so sure when she has barely know him for five minutes?

Away from Simon's flat Stevie succumbs to the pandemic doing the rounds 'the sweats' as it has been dubbed by the media. Sick for days, she has no contact with the outside world until a relative of Simon's pays her a visit. They leave behind a note that Simon had written specifically for Stevie. The note contains instructions which Stevie is reluctant to follow, until she wonders if there was more to Simon's sudden death than meets the eye.

As the outside world changes, Steve puts herself in danger as she tries to find the answers to put her mind at rest.

Chilling plausible at a time when there is so much uncertainty around Ebola, A Lovely Way to Burn at times makes for uncomfortable reading. There will be those who find it a little far fetched and there will those who adore it. Me? Well I'm somewhere in the middle. But maybe I should reserve judgement until the next instalment?
 A Lovely Way to Burn is available to buy now from Amazon online and all good book shops.
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Thank you to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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