Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Catch Your Death - Louise Voss and Mark Edwards

'She felt as if she was inside the sort of bad dream which just goes on and on, silently unfolding and transmuting from one nightmare scenario to another.'

Main protagonist Kate Maddox, an intelligent and successful scientist working at Harvard researching viruses, has returned to her native England from the US, bringing her young son Jack with her. She feels her marriage to obnoxious husband Vernon is over, and has made the break without telling him; he is expecting her and Jack to return to Boston in a couple of days. Kate, meanwhile, is staying in a hotel in London, considering her next move, when she is stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of someone she can't believe she is seeing. Two decades ago, after graduating from Oxford, Kate spent time as a volunteer at the Cold Research Unit, arranged via longtime family friend Leonard Bainbridge. The scientists there were attempting to make a breakthrough in their studies of the common cold virus. On her second stay there, a fire took hold and Kate escaped the building, later fleeing to America to live, but her beloved boyfriend Stephen, a young doctor at the facility, didn't make it.

The person who she is so shocked to see when she is in London becomes a companion to Kate in trying to uncover the mystery of what really happened to her beloved Stephen, and what was going on behind the scenes at the Cold Research Unit. Ultimately Kate will be pursued on two fronts, both by her angry husband and by someone much worse, a terrifying killer driven on by his obsession with Kate and by the instructions of his sinister superior Dr Gaunt. 

Dr Gaunt and his menacing sidekick John Sampson are chilling, ruthless and amoral. Gaunt has devoted his life to collecting and developing viruses, with scant regard for anything or anyone who gets in his way, and his secretive work hints at a frightening possibility of a future outbreak of virulent diseases. Sampson is a cold-blooded, unfeeling killer who 'was glad he had no morals', with no feeling towards his victims; put simply '..he was a monster.' Together they provide a tangible sense of terror and fear throughout, and they are a persistent threat to Kate as she slowly starts to uncover the truth about the past, and realises that there is an horrific impending threat looming over her and her family and loved ones. 

What an addictive read! This thriller, written by two authors combining their talents, had me picking it up again at every opportunity to read a page or two more because it was exciting and tense from fairly early on, and it successfully maintained the tension and my curiosity throughout, until the dramatic and revelatory ending. The main characters are flawed individuals who take wrong turns and make bad decisions at times; there were instances when I wished Kate had done something different, but the actions and decisions taken all add to the development of the story and lead us to a nail-biting conclusion. The terror Kate feels when confronted with Sampson is all too evident; 'When Sampson spoke, Kate had the sensation of being stroked by cold fingers. She could hear the darkness inside him.' If you are looking for an exciting, fast-paced thriller with twists, tension, and an element of romance, this could very well be the read for you.

When you've finished this book, next time you are ill and the Doctor tells you it's 'just a virus', well, you might just wonder...!


Thank you to the publisher and the authors for sending me a copy of this novel to read and give an honest review.

The authors enjoyed substantial success when they initially self-published this title as an e-book, and it is now published by Harper in the UK and available in paperback and as an e-book.

You can visit the website for Louise Voss and Mark Edwards here and find out more about the authors, their books, and their writing partnership. You can also follow them on twitter @mredwards and @louisevoss1



  1. I do love a good thriller. This one sounds like it would fit the bill.

  2. I do like my crime, haven't heard of them before. May keep an eye out for it, great review Lyns


    1. I think you'd enjoy this one Lainy. x

  3. I love thrillers like this..thanks for sharing your great review!

  4. Wow - this is absolutely the kind of book I imagine keeps a reader up at all hours of the night, trying to uncover what happens next. I love books like these, that have you on the edge of your seat. I especially loved the quote that you added to your review, because it highlights the writing ability of the author, and draws your interest even more into narrative of the book. Thank you for this wonderful review -- thanks to your words, it is going into my TBR list, right away! :)

    Name: Hira Hasnain
    Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com


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