NB This post first appeared as part of the Blog Tour for ‘Anthrax Island’ by DL Marshall.
FACT: In 1942, in growing desperation at the progress of the war and fearing invasion by the Nazis, the UK government approved biological weapons tests on British soil. Their aim: to perfect an anthrax weapon destined for Germany. They succeeded.
FACT: Though the attack was never launched, the testing ground, Gruinard Island, was left lethally contaminated. It became known as Anthrax Island.
Now government scientists have returned to the island. They become stranded by an equipment failure and so John Tyler is flown in to fix the problem. He quickly discovers there’s more than research going on. When one of the scientists is found impossibly murdered inside a sealed room, Tyler realises he’s trapped with a killer…
A gripping thriller that will leave you guessing until the final page. Perfect for fans of Terry Hayes, James Swallow and Alistair MacLean.
My Review (5 stars out of 5)
When an equipment failure leaves a research crew trapped inside a decontamination chamber, technician John Tyler is flown in to fix it – at least that’s what he wants them to believe. Knowing one of the team is already dead, Tyler must find out what’s going on before things really get out of hand. But with the toxic Anthrax spores a constant threat, he’ll have to keep his wits about him.
Anthrax Island reminded me a lot of Desmond Bagley’s books, with plenty of action, non-stop twists and turns and enough suspects to shake anyone’s faith in ever learning the truth. Set on a remote Scottish island where at least one person has already committed murder, as thrillers go, this is about as good as it gets. Throwing our hero from one deadly situation into another, there’s little time to stop and take stock. Not knowing who to trust, Tyler finds himself in a race against time to uncover the mystery and catch whoever is responsible.
DL Marshall’s writing is tight and fast-paced, and the well-researched background only adds to the authenticity. The whole thing rattles along like an out-of-control steam engine, constantly moving the plot in new directions. If I’d had time to read this at one sitting, I would have – it’s almost impossible to put down. My only criticism, and it’s a small one, is that the denouement felt like it took too long to tie up the loose ends.
A superbly clever and thoroughly gripping book that had me gasping for more at the end of each chapter.
About D.L. Marshall
D. L. Marshall was born and raised in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Influenced by the dark industrial architecture, steep wooded valleys, and bleak Pennine moors, he writes thrillers tinged with horror, exploring the impact of geography and isolation. In 2016 he pitched at Bloody Scotland. In 2018 he won a Northern Writers’ Award for his thriller novel Anthrax Island.