2024 and a lethal virus is spreading rapidly across the world, and this just 4 years after the coronavirus pandemic. But Jack, Sarah, Daisy, and Rexy will be alright, won’t they? Because Sarah has inherited her uncle’s property in a remote Norfolk village, and this forward-thinking man had the foresight to build an underground bunker with everything one might need in the event of an apocalypse. Lulled into a sense of false security from the recovery after Covid, no one is prepared for Bat Fever. This time, vaccinations are scarce and the death toll is frightening from the onset with no letup. The Norfolk villagers are naturally suspicious of these newcomers, terrified that they might be helping to spread this disease into their rural idyll. And into the mix, fuelled perhaps by crazed grief, greed, or fear, a murderer is living in their midst. As the country closes down and basic infrastructures are dissolved, the villagers are forced to pull together to forage for and share precious supplies. But then the discovery of another murder rents apart their dwindling community as accusations fly once again.
This is a study of how people behave when under pressure, how their allegiances can be blown apart by the thoughts and actions of someone they thought they knew… loved, even. When the chips are down and its a fight for basic survival, the dynamics of all these relationships are tested to the limit. I liked the constant point of view change throughout the book as not only did it keep the tension high and the pacing nice and even, but it also allowed information to be drip-fed into the story in such a way that evidence is built slowly for the reader – until the killer is finally revealed. Deeply compelling, and although not my usual genre I thoroughly enjoyed the all too-real-feel of this story.