In keeping with my pandemic/apocalyptic reading, I found this one by author Peter May, whose Black House/Lewis series remain one of my all-time favourites. Apparently, May wrote Lockdown over fifteen years ago, but his publisher didn’t think anyone would credit a pandemic locking down London. I get that. Ha! Funny (not), how a few years on this is not only believable, but happening.
May uses a global pandemic and a major city in lockdown as the scene for the murder of a child. London, the epicentre of the viral outbreak, is under martial law. D.I Jack MacNeil, a gruff, pragmatic Scotsman (they all seem to be in this genre!), is on his last day working for the Yard. His career and marriage are in tatters and he misses his young son who he determines to spend more time with as soon as he finishes up with the police. Tasked with finding the killer/s before they strike again, Jack not only has to track down the perpetrator, but within the next twenty-four hours, avoid getting infected.
However, Jack is being watched and as he moves close to finding the killers, the virus moves closer to not only claiming him, but threatening those he loves. Can he catch a killer or just the deadly illness decimating the population?
This is a cracker of a read, made more so not only because of the tight time frame in which it’s set, but also because of the frisson experienced while reading it. London is brought to a standstill on the page, but its patrolled streets are brought to eerie life for the reader as we recognise not only the empty roads and shops, the blockades and masked people, but the fear, uncertainty and the countdown to an end that is as uncertain and inevitable.
A gripping read that’s both timely and great escapism (in that weird and wonderful way books that explain the present can be).