Today’s team review is from Fiona.
Find out more about Fiona here https://fionaforsythauthor.co.uk/blog/
Fiona has been reading Inhuman Acts by Brooke L. French.
I’ve seen arguments over what the word “competent” means in a book review and let me make it clear that in my world it is a compliment. In this book, the plotting, pace and sense of disaster are all more than competent, they work together to result in a read-in-one-go thriller with a hugely attractive hero and an intriguing thread of environmental questioning running through it. The signs are that it is the first in a series and I am very glad of it!
Lettuce Duquesne has friends, and a job she loves, but she also has the tragedy of her sister’s death hanging over her. She is an intelligent and likeable main character, and cleverly, the author lets you see her through other people’s eyes as you are making up your mind about her. And other people like her.
When a case of rabies transmission arises in Chattanooga, Letty sees the potential for a disaster and though she is unable to persuade everyone of the seriousness of the situation, she handles their skepticism as a scientist should, by collecting and testing the data. She teams up with Andrew, a cop on enforced leave, and Pete a local vet, to track down what could be the worst outbreak of rabies in the USA for decades.
French handles the science extremely well, managing that crucial balance between scientific jargon and readability. She doesn’t hype the fear of the disease any more than the plot demands, so we don’t get overblown panic and doom, but we do feel the tension as Letty discovers more about what is happening in Chattanooga. I found this approach made the book credible and a page-turner. Oh and I didn’t see the end coming until way past I should! French treats her readers fairly in the “working out of the puzzle” part of the book.
Characters are human, realistic and fallible, and I particularly liked the Andrew/Mary dynamic where every serious cop conversation took place against the background of shuttling the kids around or making banana pudding.
A book for anyone who likes a good mystery, intelligently told.
A deadly, incurable disease creeps silent through Chattanooga. And its victims aren’t random.
When inexplicable human rabies cases appear in Tennessee, disease ecologist Letty Duquesne jumps at the chance to trace the virus back to its source. But the closer Letty gets to finding the outbreak’s origin, the further someone will go to stop her.
With an unwanted promotion threatening to take Letty far from the fieldwork she loves, this outbreak feels like her last chance to make a difference. It’s not something she can ignore, especially now. The spillover of zoonotic diseases to the human population is on the rise and violent animal attacks-like the one that killed her sister-are becoming all too common.
Something in nature has gone very wrong.
Local authorities would rather she go home, but Letty can track a source animal like no one else. With the help of disgraced detective Andrew Marsh, Letty follows the virus’s epidemiological trail. But her every move is watched. And the source animal is closer than she thinks.
Inhuman Acts is a pulse-pounding thriller. Gripping and intricately paced, Brooke L. French’s debut novel will keep you on the edge of your seat.