Recently I read a review of Louise Voss & Mark Edwards new book All Fall Down over at The Little Reader Library. I really liked the sound of it, but it is the second book featuring virologist Kate Maddox. As I prefer to read things in the correct order I sought out Catch Your Death, which introduces Kate.
I don’t read a great deal of contemporary crime, but the medical twist is a real hook for me. Kate has a very personal reason for studying viruses; her parents were killed by a rare but deadly virus that almost took her life too when she was a child. After finishing her Finals at Oxford, and with time on her hands before starting on her Master’s research, Kate spent the summer at the CRU (Cold Research Unit). Run by an old friend of the family the worst thing that Kate should have been exposed to was the common cold. The devastating fire and subsequent amnesia sent her life off onto a new path, that led to Harvard, marriage and motherhood.
Fast forward sixteen years and Kate has returned to England, in an attempt to escape her bullying husband. Fate intervenes in the doppelgänger of her lost love from that summer at the CRU. Whilst offering a second chance at happiness this encounter also throws Kate and all that she treasures into terrible danger. There’s a sinister reason behind Kate’s inability to remember her time at the research facility clearly, and an even more sinister hitman on her trail.
I was definitely hooked on the story of Kate’s lost summer, and was desperate to find out what had been going on. It is revealed slowly, as clues are followed and memories unlocked. It also dovetails with what is going on in the present, as a proper mad scientist character persues his evil plans. He’s a real Doctor Death, sending chills through everyone he comes into contact with. His henchman is the emotionally dead Sampson, who’s obsession with Kate is the only flicker of life inside him. Poor Kate.
There are some good unexpected moments, and I really did love the medical bits – I wouldn’t have minded more of them actually. The lab/hospital is suitably creepy, one of those places you’d cross the road to avoid. There were a few times that I wanted to shout at Kate to stop running headlong into danger, but she is a smart, capable woman – and much braver than me. Her husband’s inadequacies are all too obvious, and he doesn’t come out of it that well at all. It’s a pretty addictive book; I would have read it in one go if I hadn’t had unavoidable interruptions! I already have the next one lined up and ready to go, I’m looking forward to finding out what Kate does next.
I borrowed Catch Your Death from my local library. It is available in both Paperback and eBook.