Written by Louise Voss and Mark Edwards — After I finished reading this book using the Kindle app on my iPad, I tweeted that it left me cold. That’s probably more of a ‘chirp’ than a ‘tweet’ and co-author Mark Edwards pulled me up for the bad pun. Fair enough. So I told him that I thought the book was a real page-turner and we chatted about how you express that for a Kindle release. A page-forward-buttoner? A page-swiper, on the iPad?
Page-turner will have to do, and that really is the great strength of this eBook. Voss and Edwards are wonderful storytellers and thanks to a writing style that’s all about tension and motion, the plotline has plenty of pace. Virologist Kate has landed back in the UK with her little boy Jack, leaving behind an overbearing husband and her work at Harvard. In central London, she miraculously stumbles across a man who looks just like her first love, and indeed Paul is connected to her past and becomes her companion throughout the story.
It transpires that back in 1990 Kate was guinea pig at a facility in Salisbury where a cure for the common cold was being researched. However behind the scenes more sinister viruses were being developed, and the story follows Kate and Paul’s mission to uncover what was going on. They’re pursued by both a hitman, as well as Kate’s socially inept ex who wants his kid back. Can they save the world from the deadliest flu virus ever? It’s a bit like Michael Crichton crossed with Harlan Corben.
Off the back of Catch Your Death and their other title, Killing Cupid, the authors now have a book deal with HarperCollins taking them from eBooks to the traditional market. It’s easy to see why – their fast-paced style is effective. However it’s also light on detail and substance, not just in the characterisation but in how ideas and settings are woven into a story. While delivering in terms of excitement and clarity, more depth and atmosphere might have resulted in a whole new level of intrigue. At less than £1, though, I really shouldn’t complain about a lack of depth.