Resistance: A Race Against Time to Save Mankind by Val McDermid
|Resistance: A Race Against Time to Save Mankind by Val McDermid|
|Category: Dystopian Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Tense, frightening and all too believable: this could be waiting around the corner in reality.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 2h 11m||Date: May 2017|
|Publisher: BBC Physical Audio|
|External links: Author's website|
It began so innocently, at a music festival in Northumberland. There were some stomach upsets, but what do you expect when the weather's bad, there's inadequate sanitation and 150,000 people out to enjoy themselves? Journalist Zoe Meadows is covering the event and she's filing her copy from the back of a food van run by her friends Sam and Lisa. Sam's fussy about the food he serves - he's The Sausage Man - and he regularly checks out his suppliers. In his business you just can't be too careful. The stomach upsets seem to last for 24 hours, an unpleasant 24 hours, but then it seems to be over.
Only it's not over. About a week later the people who think they've recovered get purple lesions on their bodies. A few people survive, but far too many die of septic shock and it's Sam who's being blamed for starting this. Now he's known as The Plague Man and when his shop is attacked and burned to the ground he has no option but to go into hiding. Initially the government is sure that the bug will die out and that there's no need to panic - only there's no drug which will treat the bacterium. Big Pharma's not interested in trying to find one - where's the money in doing all the research and development for a drug which people will take just the once? Far better to stick to developing the medicines which bring in regular money - the treatments for arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure.
It's a story about the infection which mutates and spreads, not least because we've all taken too many antibiotics, and because farmers have fed antibiotics to their animals and now doctors have been left with nowhere to go. It's also a story about survival and about what people will do to ensure that they survive: vigilantes are commonplace with barricades on the roads into villages. They're not there just to stop people getting in: they're there as somewhere that people showing the symptoms of the infection can be forced beyond - at gunpoint if necessary. It's a tense, frightening story and it's made all the more so because you know that this could be the story that's waiting just around the corner in reality.
Val McDermid always writes a good, compelling story. This is the first time that I've encountered one of her shorter works and it has all the characteristics of her full-length books: a brilliant sense of location, excellent characters you really buy into and a plot with plenty of twists. I'd planned on listening whilst doing something manual: it wasn't long before I gave up that idea and listened with my heart in my mouth.
Gina McKee plays Zoe, and Nitin Kundra is Sam. They're both excellent and completely compelling. I listened to a three CD recording, but Resistance is also available as an audio download.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For more from Val McDermid available as an audio download, we can recommend The Distant Echo.
You can read more book reviews or buy Resistance: A Race Against Time to Save Mankind by Val McDermid at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You could get a free audio download of Resistance: A Race Against Time to Save Mankind by Val McDermid with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Resistance: A Race Against Time to Save Mankind by Val McDermid at Amazon.com.
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