Two years on from uncovering a terrifying conspiracy of rogue scientists, all Kate Maddox wants is to lead a normal life with her partner Paul and son Jack. But then a face from the past turns up, bringing chilling news. A devastating new strain of the virus that killed Kate’s parents is loose in L.A. – and when a bomb rips through a hotel killing many top scientists, it becomes clear someone will do anything to stop a cure being found. While Paul goes on the hunt for answers, Kate finds herself in a secret laboratory in the heart of California, desperately seeking a way to stop the contagion. But time is running out and soon it will be too late to save their loved ones, themselves, and the world…
(Beware this review contains one spoiler)
Following on from ‘Catch Your Death’ from crime writing duo Mark Edwards and Louise Voss, ‘All Fall Down’ marks the return of largely unflappable Dr Kate Maddox whose services are called upon to conquer a viral outbreak threatening the whole of America, and to stop it’s global spread. Gadzooks!
With the convenient deaths of the world’s leading minds in the field of virology it falls upon Kate, virologist, mother, sensual woman and all round good egg, to concoct a cure and thwart this deadly enemy. As the virus is unleashed on the unsuspecting public by a group of emotionally screwed and brainwashed women, led by a be-leathered femme fatale, time is running out for Dr Kate as she enters their radar and finds herself and her nearest and dearest in deadly peril. With a suitably ludicrous use of plotting that means Kate, her partner and her young son, all find themselves transported from rural England to a disease ravaged America, the scene is set for much gung-ho action, schmaltzy interludes and a sense of cripes who will survive this rampant disease, let alone fend off the mad band of women who unleashed it in the first place. A series of frankly unbelievable but at times quite strangely entertaining escapades ensue- oh- and there’s a bit of rumpy pumpy as well.
With more than a nod to one of Dustin Hoffman’s less notable screen performances in ‘Outbreak’ and the scientific meanderings of the late Michael Crichton, I think you can probably ascertain that this wasn’t really my cup of tea- a suspension of disbelief too far. It is observed of one character that “He was silent, his eyes squeezed shut, like this was one incident too far. Too much for him to take” and I must confess that I experienced similar feelings in the course of reading this but fear not, as this has already garnered a significant amount of 5* reviews elsewhere so maybe it’s just me! Don’t get me wrong, this is not a badly written book and I did like a couple of the characters, but after my ups and downs with the plot, the ending completely blew all hopes I had for a realistic outcome to the whole scenario. SPOILER ALERT: Too many people escaped unscathed for my liking, and it was all a bit stereotypical Hollywood action thriller ending with the obligatory cut to wholesome family unit having overcome perilous adversity. However, this probably says more about the dark recesses of my psyche than the quality of the ending on offer for the less cynically-minded reader. In the interests of fairness and to quell my flippancy somewhat, I include links to some cracking reviews for the book for your delictation and delight- just not my bag I’m afraid…
Reviews on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/d5qnyq5
Lainy’s review at GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/472939882
Visit the authors’ website here: http://vossandedwards.com/
‘All Fall Down’ is available in Kindle format now and in paperback from 14th February 2013…
(Thanks to Harpercollins for the advance reading copy)