Since my last post Stranger than Fiction on 16th March, there have been even more examples of how elements of the plot of Plague are featuring in real life news. Two weeks ago we had pharmacies hiring body guards because of attacks from members of the public attempting to access medicines or other items which were out of stock. This happens on Page 106 of the novel! And there’s a real life procurement scandal, as reported in The Guardian, on 1st May, with an NHS manager allegedly selling PPE using his NHS contacts. And what about those non-tendered contracts being given to companies owned by Conservative party donors, while companies expert in their field and offering their services are ignored? Not quite the level of corruption which features in the novel, but getting there.
The book is scheduled for publication on 15th September (Claret Press, £9.99) and I hope potential readers are not deterred from reading (and buying) it. When I expressed my concerns about this on twitter recently a fellow crime/mystery writer pointed out to me that ‘Contagion’ the 2011 film about a killer pandemic is currently the most viewed film on Netflix. So, you never know.
The novel is already available to NetGalley members at the moment, at no cost (other than the time it takes to write a review ). If you are interested in reading it you can sign up with NetGalley, using the widget in the sidebar on this web-site. The site is digital only, but it provides versions for most of the main reading devices. If you like reading on a Kindle, Nook or ipad, why not sign up and give Plague a go?
It’s a murder mystery, with some serious points to make about power and democracy, and a lot of edge-of-the-seat thrills along the way. There is romance too and one or two plot twists which, I am told, one can’t see coming! I hope readers find its insights into the functioning of Parliament interesting and there is also quite a foray into the little known history of a particular part of London. I won’t say which. Here is the blurb –
‘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 all Parliaments.
Time is running out. And it’s not clear what – or who – will survive.’
Plague is available to read and review now on NetGalley. Log on, sign up and signal your wish to get the book. I’ll respond within twenty four hours. If you’re a media professional contact me at this site, or via twitter, for interviews, podcast and other information. If you run a book club try using the items in the Press Kit, Author Q & A, book club discussion questions and links.
This post first featured on www.jandmanderson.com on 2nd May 2020.