book review, review

Book review: ‘Lockdown’ by Peter May

I don’t usually read books based purely on their publicity, but I couldn’t resist it with ‘Lockdown’.

I’d been hearing about it loads and just assumed that it was a previously released book that bore some uncanny resemblances to our current situation. Then I heard the story behind its publication, that apparently Peter May wrote Lockdown in 2005 but the publishers found the story so implausible that they wouldn’t publish it. Sure enough I saw this confirmed in an interview when he explained that ‘Lockdown’ was a crime thriller set in a London in lockdown during a virus pandemic, and sure enough publishers declined to publish as it didn’t seem plausible. Well seeing as we’re currently living through a publicity event that money can’t buy, May would have been crazy to not push to get this published. So in April this year it was published straight to paperback.

The intrigue with me really lay in seeing how close to the bone May really got with his predictions. As, for me, Crime isn’t really my go to genre. My Crime reading material bounces between cosy crime like Alan Hunter and hard hitting Scandi crime like Jo Nesbo, there is no middle ground.

It was a really good read, May has a wonderful way with words and sets the scene well. His character development is so involved you almost don’t realise that you’re nearly a third of the way through the book before anyone really starts investigating the crime.

The style of this crime novel is focused more on the ‘why?’ of the crime than the ‘who?’ so you do get really carried along with the storyline and the killer revelation really isn’t that much of a big deal, you’re more interested in the reasoning behind it all.

My one main irk with this book was a later scene in a book, I’ll try and avoid spoilers but feel free to skip this paragraph if you wish. A character in the book gets severely burnt in a car crash. I’m talking all over full thickness burn, right down to the subcutaneous level (this is also used as a reasoning for the burn victim to not feel any pain) he then escapes and carries out a number of nefarious tasks. I’m no doctor, but to me that didn’t seem plausible, if I’m wrong I would love to hear the whys and the wherefores of it, it just struck a dud note for me there.

Aside from all that, I would definitely recommend this book, if only for a glimpse into a world we could have become.


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