Cover Image: Plague

Plague

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Member Reviews

You might think that a book by the name of Plague by Julie Anderson is about disease. In these days of pandemic and worry, the title can be misleading. Not to worry, this is a break from today’s worldwide bad news. In London, two hundred feet below street level, a group of experts are inspecting an ancient burial chamber. They accidentally stumble upon a body in an old plague pit, used centuries ago to dispose of diseased bodies. However, the body is recently deceased and it appears that the young man has been brutally murdered. A civil servant is in the group and the deputy prime minister gives her an assignment to report results of the investigation in order to avoid scandal in high places. More bodies are subsequently found and she joins forces with a police investigator to gain knowledge about the crimes. Powerful people are suspected and the duo are anxious to prevent the murders of more young people. Plague by Julie Anderson is a book that has everything to keep the reader satisfied and interested: mystery, history, suspense and even a little romance. I highly recommend this book. Thank you to Claret Press and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I had imagined I was going to read a very different book, so unfortunately I was a little disappointed when I realised that the ‘plague’ of the title is the plague of power, greed and political advancement rather than anything to do with contagion. 

I was looking forward to getting to know the strong, female protagonist, but again I was a little disappointed. She seems more interested in her love life than the crimes she is investigating. 

Having said this, the writing is good enough and there is a lot to be said for the book. With a slightly more kickass main character I would really have enjoyed it. I’m a sucker for a stand-out, strong female lead. 

Thank you to NetGalley for letting me read the advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This book took me by surprise and was interesting due to the subjects that it touched on like power and wealth,

The setting is interesting and hearing about subterranean London made it stand out.

Interesting page turner ,
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When I started reading this book it caught my interest, murders were being committed close to various plague pits in London.  It was a murder/mystery.  Then it was a tour around the Palaces of Westminster.  Not really anything to do with Plague as expected.  The story of Cassandra (a very shallow lady) who has been demoted but we don't find out why, who helps a police inspector to investigate the murders.  She is then promoted again.  The characters really don't shine in my opinion and the story is over shadowed by the descriptions of Westminster.  I didn't really enjoy the plot it was neither one thing or another and I found the title misleading,
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An intriguing mystery in modern day London. As bodies start to show up in ancient plague pits, disgraced civil servant Cassie investigates in this slow-moving but intelligent book. Recommended reading, worth the slow start.
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When several bodies are discovered on the sites of ancient plague pits, the public, boosted by the media, begin to panic that the plague is back. But civil servant Cassandra Fortune and Scotland Yard DI Andrew Rowlands believe that there’s something more sinister involved. Can they track down the criminals and prevent further deaths?

Plague is a good story, with an interesting link to Parliament and the corruption of senior politicians. I wasn’t expecting the ending, and am still not totally sure I liked it, although I can see that future Cassie stories will work better because of it. In spite of, or possibly because of, this ending issue, Plague is a pacy story which keeps you guessing as to who is involved and how. Cassie is a strong character, who manages to deal with dead bodies, corruption and torture without too much bother.

An enjoyable book.
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In current day London, bodies have been found in centuries old plague pits.   The victims have obviously been tortured and used for other purposes.   Is there a serial killer in town?  Or a group of sadistic killers?  There is a link to Parliament and the Palace of Westminster which is how Cassie Fortune ends up involved with the investigation.   Cassie is at a rut in her career working at Westminster and hopes that working the case will help redeem her in the higher ups' eyes.   She's teamed up with Andrew, a police detective and the two follow trails that lead them into the depths of London's sewers and long buried rivers.  

This was definitely an adventure.  Cassie is relatable and I like her interactions with Andrew.   I loved the setting of London and the involvement of what lies beneath the city.    The author based much of the info about the sewers, buried rivers etc. on actual fact, so I actually got to learn some cool new facts about London.   

This is the first book in a trilogy, so I am curious to check out the others.  

What to listen to while reading...
Hiding Tonight by Alex Turner
Knives Out by Radiohead
No Light, No Light by Florence + the Machine
Way down We Go by KALEO
Glory and Gore by Lorde
Lost River by Murder by Death
Blue Moon by Chromatics
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A political thriller set in and around and under the palaces of Westminster. Disgraced civil servant Anna is seconded to help the police after the gruesome discovery of a body during an excavation. Intended as a three part series of novels, I found the title lent nothing to the story and the main protagonist too emotional and lightly drawn to be believable. However, I enjoyed the setting of the novel in particular the description of the lost rivers and I would enjoy reading the next novel in the sequence.
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Timely novel to read in our crazy times.  Author paints an evocative picture of a world caught up in the perils of plague.
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"Plague. Ciuma. Pest. Plaga. In any language, a word of power and fear."

Alas, I selected this to read because when I skimmed the synopsis, I thought this was actually about a plague in London. The "plague" in this mystery thriller is about proximity to power and control of money markets, government, and media. 

Cassandra Fortune, drummed out of her former job as investigator at GCHQ, has a chance at redemption when she's asked to work with the police after several bodies are found that appear to be linked and discovered in unusual places in the subterranean areas surrounding Westminster. While the press has a field day with reports of plague pits and corruption, Cassandra and DI Andrew Rowlands track down a shadowy organization that is connected to the highest levels of government. NO SPOILERS.

This turned out very different to what I was expecting and that has led to me being disappointed in the overall story. I was not anticipating the protagonist to be such a hot mess nor was I ready for the romantic entanglements that would ensue. I did find the descriptions of the underground and subterranean tunnels and river to be quite interesting and there was a lot of that. I understand that this is the first in a planned trilogy featuring this character and I may or may not be reading those. I was not particularly thrilled by the last third of the book or the conclusion. The writing style was interesting though it got annoying when Cassandra's thoughts would be interspersed with her interactions and printed in italics. The reader learns very little about the other characters and it was easy to guess the bad guy. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Claret Press for this E-book ARC to read and review.
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🌟🌟🌟.5

It was an interesting read. The main character, Cassie was unlikeable. I don't like her obsession with power and her job. Her relationship with Andrew is the only thing that I like but then shitty things happened to Andrew. Shit! The way Cassie act after that make me realize did she really love him? Wth duh

There are two point of view which is from Cassie and the criminal. I don't know who is the bad guy lol

Thank you Netgalley, publisher and author for Plague ARC!
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Unfortunately, I didn't get on with this book on many levels and found myself unable to finish it.  First issue was the "clickbaity" title, which has very little to do with the storyline at all.  I found the "heroine", Cassandra, really quite annoying, and if she'd spent as much time on resurrecting her political career as she did on her love life, she might have been a lot more believable.  I couldn't connect with any of the characters, or the storyline, and found it really hard going.

I am giving it 2* despite being unable to finush it, because I have in the past, read far worse books.
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Plague by Julie Anderson is a recommended procedural mixed with a love story.

Cassandra (Cassie) Fortune is one of the attendees visiting the site where an ancient plague pit was discovered during work on a London tube line. A sudden collapse reveals another room with a body that is obviously a recent corpse. Then, a day later another body is discovered, killed in the same way, and also in a plague pit. This victim is linked to the Palace of Westminster, where rumors swirl around the Prime Minister and his rivals. Cassie, who is a civil servant trying to recover from an incident that left her in disgrace, is assigned by the Deputy Prime Minister to shadow Detective Inspector Andrew Rowlands who is investigating the case and is sure it is tied to previous deaths. Cassie and Rowlands begin to work together and uncover clues in the case. To make matters more complicated due to the deaths and the ties to a plague pit, the media is inciting fear and there are riots breaking out.

This is both a whodunnit and a love story, although the investigation into the murders and the reason behind them is much more interesting and compelling a plot element than the love story, which seems a bit out of place, way too rushed, and too convenience for the plot. Setting all aspects of romance aside, the actual details and pattern of the murders and rapes of victims is exposed and the case is clearly made that there is a definite ring of people involved in the murders. They need to uncover why these people are doing this, for what purpose, and who is involved. The fact that the media gets involved indicates someone is using them and leaking information to distract people and change the narrative and focus. The characters are interesting although not particularly well-developed. Cassie's disgrace is never revealed.

The plague and plague pits are only a distraction to the real plague of murders occurring. I was a little disappointed that during this time of plague that this wasn't a real plague story, but once the plot got moving it was clear Plague was going to be a complicated tangled web of evil actions which needed to be uncovered in order to stop the plague of murders and, quite frankly, torture of the victims by those in power. The description of all the sewer tunnels, rooms, and hidden rivers, etc. underground in London was fascinating and I may have to look for a book on that. (I want to see the maps.) This is a very good mystery/procedural that was diminished by the whole love story which made no sense.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Claret Press.
The review will be posted on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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Cassandra Fortune (Cassie) is a civil servant moving in the high echelons of political elites. She carries about the burden of her previous, badly imploded, career and tries to rebuild it in her new role at the Deputy Prime Minister’s office. It is at this point that she uncovers a body of a young Polish man among the remains in one of London’s old “Plague pits”. Another body, this time of a young Spanish man, is found together with Cassie’s pass to the Palace of Westminster. Links begin to form between the deaths, Cassie, the Whitehall and commercial lobbies. Cassie embarks on an investigation alongside Detective Inspector Andrew Rowland.
Plague is a tight, fast-moving and absorbing crime drama. The theme of the resurging plague is particularly relevant in today’s reality as is the exploration of political power and influence, corruption and dodgy dealings. Cassie’s romantic interest in Andrew Rowland (which doesn’t quite take off) adds that extra human touch to the story, which is both believable and nuanced. The plot picks up pace as it moves towards the dénouement and becomes quite impossible to put down.
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Another great and unexpected find!
Cassie has a chequered past working for GCHQ and now relegated to the Office of the Deputy PM, in this role she finds herself, unbeknowingly, at the discovery of one of London’s ‘plague pits’....but also discovered there are signs of recent murders and torture, this looks like it is linked to a recent young Danish mans death in London, it starts to point to Parliament and some of the wealthiest men in the Country being involved 
With her prior knowledge and links to high Govt officials ( as asked to by Govt Ministers re her previous work) she starts on a no holds barred investigation into what could be the biggest scandal for many years, all this with the press insisting there is a new ‘plague’ thrashing its way through London ( it was interesting to read mention of Covid as something of the past ) 
Having worked at the House of Lords for 8 years this was a fascinating read as many of the places and protocols I saw daily were re-visited, also fascinating were the visits to ‘underworld London’, the lost rivers and systems below us all here in the Capital
I liked Cassie and her ‘thoughts’ as she spoke ( kinda answering herself but saying what she meant and not what she had to say ) and I enjoyed the story telling that went from dark and grim to adventurous and exciting, often on the same page
I guess the book reminded me of Hostel with a 24 edge and a big helping of political drama
As said another unexpected find and one I really enjoyed and glad read, roll on Book 2 ( and Book 3 which I believe is already written )

9/10
5 Stars
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This book was a real page turner. It's a cliché but in this case true - the plot was fast paced, intelligent and intriguing.  The setting was different and obviously well researched.  It would be mean to go further into these settings as the story revolves around them.  This book was a pleasant surprise to me as I did not know the author before.  Highly recommended.
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Action, adventure disease and corruption ( and that is just in Westminster and British politics!)
A page turner of a thriller that is well timed in our currant situation. Wonderfully written characters that are completely believable and some interesting insights into the corridors of power
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Very tense and suspenful. Edge of your seat reading. Very strong story voice. Will have you feeling as if you're there with them trying to figure out the puzzle. Highly recommend. Happy reading!
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I reached 60% before deciding to quit as I didn't want to waste my time. It could have been a gripping story but it was slow paced and nothing really seemed to be happening. 

You've also got the main character who's just been given another chance to do what she loves but there's no information (from what I'd read so far) about her past. She's also involved in an investigation which seems quite dangerous, involving dangerous, wealthy and powerful men and yet she thinks it's ok to go on dates with them?
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During excavation works an ancient burial pit is unearthed and work is stopped for inspection by officials, it is identified ss a plague pit which gives rise to panic by the workers; however quick imposition of authority and reassurance by the civil servant supervising the inspection averts a stampede. When an earth fall occurs a further chamber is revealed full of bones and a human body, seemingly tortured and with his throat slit. The female civil servant a well-drawn out character, perverse, stubborn, and impetuous is assigned as a watching brief when more bodies and a murder investigation is set in motion. Rather than a serial killer it becomes obvious that a high-level organisation is involved that is linked possibly to politicians and business interests. During the investigation the civil servant with experience from her former role as an investigator into politically sensitive issues suspects that further crimes were due to be set in the commons and their suspicions being apparent, causes those involved to get the investigators killed with the lady barely escaping with her life before that the case is finally cracked. A most interesting story set in the houses of parliament and its culture and environment and how false news and media manipulation can be used as a tool to stir up public hysteria to hamper the criminal investigation.
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