Many thanks to Amber Choudhary of Midas PR for asking me to review An Air That Kills by Christine Poulson, published by Lion Fiction.
How long can you hold your breath?
Katie Flanagan goes undercover at a lab: the scientists prove as dangerous as the diseases. The atmosphere in the lab is toxic. It is only a matter of time before there is a flu pandemic with the potential to kill billions. Or so wealthy entrepreneur Lyle Lynstrum believes. That is why he is funding research into transgenics – the mechanism by which viruses can jump the species barrier – at a high-security lab on a tidal island off the North Devon coast.
A suspiciously rapid turnover of staff has him worried. He sends in scientist Katie Flanagan as an undercover lab technician. Something is clearly very wrong, but before Katie can get to the bottom of what is going on, a colleague is struck down by a mysterious illness. Has the safety of the facility been compromised, allowing a deadly virus to escape? Katie begins to suspect that the scientists are as deadly as the diseases – and that her cover has been blown. Then the island is cut off by high seas and a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse begins…
“…a crime novelist to watch.” Shots Magazine
Our Author: Christine Poulson
Dr Christine Poulson has lectured in art history and is familiar with academic life. A member of the Society of Friends, she is the author of several novels and works of non-fiction including the Cassandra James series. During her career as an art historian, she worked as a curator of ceramics at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and as curator for the William Morris Society at Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, London. She taught for the Open University and was a lecturer in Art History at a college in Cambridge. She is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association. Chrissie is currently based in Hope Valley, Derbyshire.
Katie Flanaghan has been in the Antarctic, as a medic for 9 months – there’s limited daylight most of the time there. Whilst she was there she became close to Justin, but they kept it low key, in case it was just a case of being trapped with few others and once back out in the ‘real world’ their feelings would change. This doesn’t seem to be the case, they arrange to meet up and they get on just as well in the outside world too. Katie is trying to stay calm about it but thinks Justin is maybe the one.
Don’t be fooled though, this isn’t a love story!
When Katie goes to visit her friend Rachel, whos reaching the end of her pregnancy, she’s delighted when she asks her to be her birthing partner, as her husband Daniel didn’t cope well after complications with her last birth with their daughter Chloe, who has a rare blood disorder – DBA – Diamond Blackfan Anemia. Their mutual friend Lyle Linstrum, a venture capiltaliset has a problem with some research hes invested in and is concerned about the results that seem too good to be true. Katie has previous lab technician experience and goes to Debussy Point as an undercover Cat 3 – technician to find out if Claudia’s Carter’s research really is going as well as she says.
Suspicions arise when Katie, now undercover as Cailtin Marsh, cannot re-create the transfer of Bird Flu, like Claudia says she can, despite following Claudia’s written instructions and then Gemma Brathiwaite, Claudia’s professor is taken ill. Very ill.
Things go from bad to worse and with the added complications of Debussy Point being cut off from the mainland at high tide, Justin’s and Katie’s long-distance relationship, Katie develops a case of shingles and after a near-fatal ‘accident’ she cracks it, the mutation that Claudia has been trying to crack, but not in the way she said she could. This all adds to the tension and creates extras drama for all involved.
A really intricately woven web of deceit and lies, with great details based around scientific laboratories, a great sleuths tale that will keep you on your toes and ensure you watch out for mosquitos.
To Purchase An Air That Kills: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Christine-Poulson/An-Air-That-Kills–How-long-can-you-hold-your-breath/24109091
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