26 August 2020


By Peter May
Thriller | Dystopian | Crime

My Review

Lockdown was written in 2005 but back then no one would publish it. A book about a flu pandemic was regarded as too unrealistic. The author set his manuscript aside and moved on to other projects. Fast forward to 2020 and the world is currently experiencing a global pandemic. Still too unrealistic? Erm, I don't think so! Finally able to secure a publishing deal, the book hit the shelves.

In Lockdown, London is currently. . . well. . . in lockdown. It's a city in chaos — hospitals are overrun with the sick and dying and civil unrest has taken hold. Construction workers building a temporary hospital unearth a bag containing the remains of a murdered girl. Who is she and why was she killed? D.I. Jack MacNeil, on the verge of retirement from the Met, is tasked with bringing those responsible to justice, amid a bleak backdrop of death and personal tragedy. 

This book really was ahead of its time. I found it exciting, fast-paced and prophetic. Similarities to the current world pandemic were quite extraordinary. Not having read any of the author's other books, this was my introduction to his work — I was suitably impressed. Set entirely in London, Lockdown was a relentlessly thrilling read from beginning to end.              

Book Source: Purchased copy
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: riverrun (30th April 2020)

The Blurb

'They said that twenty-five percent of the population would catch the flu. Between seventy and eighty percent of them would die. He had been directly exposed to it, and the odds weren't good.'


London, the epicenter of a global pandemic, is a city in lockdown. Violence and civil disorder simmer. Martial law has been imposed. No-one is safe from the deadly virus that has already claimed thousands of victims. Health and emergency services are overwhelmed.


At a building site for a temporary hospital, construction workers find a bag containing the rendered bones of a murdered child. A remorseless killer has been unleashed on the city; his mission is to take all measures necessary to prevent the bones from being identified.


D.I. Jack MacNeil, counting down the hours on his final day with the Met, is sent to investigate. His career is in ruins, his marriage over and his own family touched by the virus. Sinister forces are tracking his every move, prepared to kill again to conceal the truth. Which will stop him first - the virus or the killers?

The Author

May had a successful career as a television writer, creator, and producer.

One of Scotland's most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama. He is the creator of three major television drama series and presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels.

Born and raised in Scotland he lives in France.

His breakthrough as a best-selling author came with The Lewis Trilogy. After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, the first of the The Lewis Trilogy - The Blackhouse - was published in France as L'Ile des Chasseurs d'Oiseaux where it was hailed as "a masterpiece" by the French national newspaper L'Humanité. His novels have a large following in France. The trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world's largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam.

The Blackhouse was published in English by the award-winning Quercus (a relatively young publishing house which did not exist when the book was first presented to British publishers). It went on to become an international best seller, and was shortlisted for both Barry Award and Macavity Award when it was published in the USA.

The Blackhouse won the US Barry Award for Best Mystery Novel at Bouchercon in Albany NY, in 2013.

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