There are many ways to die. Plague is just one of them.
Work on a London tube line is halted by the discovery of an ancient plague pit and, within it, a very recent corpse. A day later another body is found, killed in the same way, also in a plague pit. This victim is linked to the Palace of Westminster, where rumours swirl around the Prime Minister and his rivals.
As the number of deaths climbs, the media stokes fear. Government assurances are disbelieved. Everyone feels threatened. This has to be resolved and fast.
The Westminster connection enables Detective Inspector Andrew Rowlands, working alone on a series of rapes and murders of vulnerable young people in central London, to finally persuade his superiors that there is a pattern. He is assigned to lead the case. Cassandra Fortune, a disgraced civil servant, is given the uncomfortable task of investigating the investigation, while joining forces with Rowlands to find the killers before Parliament rises for recess.
Together they navigate the arcane world of the Palace of Westminster as the body count grows. But someone is leaking important details about the case to the press and the media ratchets up the pressure. Misinformation and malice online feeds distrust and panic and the Black Death begins to stalk the streets of London once again.
Meanwhile the commercial and political world focuses on the launch of a huge government Thames-side building programme worth billions. Powerful forces, in Parliament and the City, are competing for its spoils. How, if at all, does this link with the killings? Drawn into the melee, Cassandra Fortune finds herself the object of the attentions of one of the major players, wealthy City broker, Lawrence Delahaye. The attraction is mutual. Fortune and Rowlands discover a shadowy underground network of influence and power as they race against the clock to prevent the death of more innocents and the destruction of the Mother of Parliaments itself. Cassandra will be forced to make a terrible decision as she faces ruin. Time is running out and it’s not clear what, or who, is going to survive.
Plague is part Murder mystery and part political thriller, all set in and around the Palace of Westminster.
Cassie, an ex-employee of GCHQ is now working in the office of the Deputy Prime Minister. She witnesses the discovery of the body of a murder victim when the wall of an old plague pit collapses.
The body is linked to a previous victim found in a similar location.
Cassie works with Detective Andrew Rowlands to find the killer before anymore deaths.
As they investigate, they find powerful people in parliament may be involved.
The media is causing the public to panic as there is mention of plague being back in London, but who is feeding all the misinformation to the press?
With the politics of politics in parliament, big business involvement and murder ‘events’ this is a well plotted, twisty political thriller with some shocks along the way. Julie Anderson clearly knows her way around Westminster, the history of London and it’s lost or hidden rivers, all of which makes this a gripping and entertaining read.
Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of Plague. This is my honest and unbiased review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie Anderson was a Senior Civil Servant in Westminster and Whitehall for many years, including at the Office for the Deputy Prime Minister, the Inland Revenue and Treasury Solicitors. Earlier publications include historical adventure novels and short stories. She is Chair of Trustees of Clapham Writers, organisers of the Clapham Book Festival, and curates events across London. Find her at https://www.jandmanderson.com
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Plague by Julie Anderson