Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Book #19 Catch Your Death by Louise Voss and Mark Edwards

Catch Your Death

Catch Your Death is a crime thriller by writing duo Louise Voss and Mark Edwards who met after Voss, already a published novelist empathised with his struggle as a writer following a TV documentary. Unlike other duos like PJ Tracy or Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees, Voss and Edwards are neither related nor a couple, which makes them a tad unusual in collaborative fiction.

In Catch Your Death, Kate returns to the UK from a life in America after over a decade abroad . She has no plans to return and has essentially abducted her young son. You would think then that this would be the story, but it isn't, or at least it's only part of it. When Kate left all those years ago, she left behind a tragedy, and memories of an accident that make no sense. A fire at a research unit where she volunteered, a fire which killed her beloved boyfriend Stephen.

What Kate doesn't realise is that her knowledge of her days there make her a threat and subsequently a target. Whilst being hunted she pairs up with Stephen's twin Paul and the duo set out to discover what really happened to Stephen all those years ago.

Catch Your Death taps in to what I feel is this really current underlying fear within society, that the next big threat to humanity will come from bioterrorism. Across media from film to television to novels, an apocalypse created by mass but not entire human extinction really is in the zeitgeist of the moment. I'm thinking of Contagion, Survivors, and all the different variations of zombie disasters. It is a known fact that scientists across the world grow and manipulate viruses in labs, and now awareness of this is really becoming part of the collective psyche, after 30 years which have brought us AIDS, CJD, H1N1 and SARS, that a truly pandemic truly decimating illness could spread very easily throughout the global village. The subject of this novel is a viable and therefore extra scary threat.

Sampson one of the two main villains of this piece is one of the most chilling individuals I've come across in fiction. So evil that I would class him as being truly inhuman he is a man to have some serious nightmares about. His superior Gaunt is like one of these mad James Bond evil genius types, a tad over the top but fun nonetheless. 

Sometimes when you read a book the characters and events sprout your own creative imagination, and personally I would have gone down a completely different road with the character Paul. It's not a criticism more a choose your own adventure type thing. I'm not saying my storyline would have been better, just I enjoyed imagining how it would have changed it.

One of the impressive aspects of this book is the seamless authorial voice and style, without the front cover telling you so, you would not guess it was the work of two people.

I think that Catch Your Death is a great read if you are going off on holiday and want to freak yourself out on the journey, it's what this sort of thriller is perfect for. Also, it's only 99p on Kindle, and for under a pound it's really well worth it.

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