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A Lovely Way to Burn

by Louise Welsh

London is in the grip of a deadly, relentless virus - the sweats. Against this backdrop Stevie is looking for answers; people have died, been murdered. She is in danger. So begins a one woman quest to survive and to solve a mystery at the same time. Like the virus, this book doesn't hang back, shooting the reader along the story with barely space to breathe.

Extract

Was the dead woman another of Simon's secrets? The sight of her ruined skull had made jealousy impossible. Instead Stevie felt the kind of pity a wife might feel on discovering that her husband's mistress had been tricked into thinking he was single. The woman could be her way out, Stevie realised, her chance to slip away and wait for the sweats to take their course.
Stevie hadn't given herself a haircut since she was a teenager and the result looked like a hatchet attack, but the short crop brought out the angles in her face. She had lost weight in the past few days and now her features seemed to be a series of corners: sharp cheekbones, hinged jaw and bright eyes set deep in their sockets. It was a skull face, without the grin, her expression nervous in a way that skulls have no need to be.
Somewhere in the tower block a door slammed. Stevie gripped the scissors in her first like a knife, her heart pumping.

Parallels

Blindness by Jose Saramago
Outbreak by Robin Cook
 

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