I am delighted to share my review today for Anthrax Island by D.L. Marshall. This is a fabulous crime thriller book and I was delighted to get a spot on the blog tour. My thanks to Emma at #damppebblesblogtours for my e-copy of this book.
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.
This was a tense crime thriller read that also had a spy thriller feel to it. The author used the Scottish island of Gruinard as the basis for his story and then expanded on it. The island was used for the testing of Anthrax in 1942 and using this fact the author then weaved a suspense ridden tale about what happened if the island still had active spores.
John Tyler, well what to say about him. Well, a man with a troubled past, a mercenary who takes on various “off the book jobs” and he has just been sent to Anthrax Island to look at the death of a technician on the base.
Given the location of the island and also that it is a no go area, this gives the story that brilliant locked in thriller feel. The isolation and also the barren and windswept island really does come through well in the writing. There is a limited number of characters and some have more of a presence than others.
The characters are used to great effect as the author gradually ramps up the mystery and intrigue of what begins a single death but then escalates to more bodies. As the story progresses then so does the suspense as I was left wondering two things, who was going to be next and could the killer be caught in time.
This, as I mentioned, is the first book in the series and the author has already got a poor battered John Tyler ready for his next mission. The main character has his flaws, and the author has left little snippets about him in the story. He is a character I will enjoy getting to know a little more as the series progresses and I am looking forward to the next book.
I really liked how the author wove fact with fiction. Using Anthrax and the testing of it on the island was such a great starting point to a story that had a reasonably fast pace to it, the intrigue, suspense and tension married sin well with the traits of the main character. The isolation and limited characters kept the main focus of the story very much in the reader’s mind.
I really enjoyed this book, it had a spy thriller feel as well as being a crime thriller. One I would definitely recommend.
About the Author…
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.
Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx