Cover Image: The Last High

The Last High

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Member Reviews

Language: R (54+ swears, 20+ "f"); Mature Content: R; Violence: R
Honestly, I enjoy the way that Kalla writes. With the mysterious issue being a complicated drug thing and his main character being a doctor, there are lots of things that would have gone over my head without the explanations that Kalla provides. He strikes a good balance of giving enough information for readers to understand without making that extra context feel unnatural or boring. I stopped reading simply because I was done reading all the R-rated content.
The mature content rating is for implied use of a sex toy, mentions of hooking and genitalia, persistent drug use, illegal activity, innuendo, nudity, and implied sex. The violence rating is for gun use, persistent descriptions of overdosing, and murder.
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A Dr and a detective, what a combination. Will they be able to change the opioid problem. Danger out there for sure.
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The opioid crisis is running rampant and this is a story of how bad things can get. Julie is an ER doctor and toxicologist who also had a Fentanyl addiction. After seeing a group of kids od from a bad batch she teams up with Anson, a homicide detective to help do d the bad batch. This is a great book that will keep you on your toes while breaking your heart. I would love to see this as a series.
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The Last High by Daniel Kalla


Who better to write a Medical Thriller than an ER Doctor?  Kalla tells a riveting story about Dr Julie Rees, an ER doctor in Vancouver.  Her ER is flooded with teens overdosing from something they took at a party.  Something is different about these cases though.  She works with Detective Anson Chen to delve into what made this fentanyl so potent and deadly.  Turns out it is carfentanil which is a hundred times more powerful than fentanyl.  During the race to chase down the source of these deadly drugs, Julie has to face her own ghosts from the past that dealt with addiction.


Any book that is recommended by Kathy Reichs is basically a must read for me.  I GREATLY appreciated the amount of medical detail and accuracy that went into this book.  It is a scary and realistic portrayal of what we are dealing with today in this opioid crisis.  The fact that it is SO believable is what makes it so good (and scary at the same time).  I had never heard of this author before now, but I am definitely looking up more works by him.  As someone who works in the healthcare field, his attention to detail is a big plus for me.  Four out of five stars.


Thanks to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for providing a copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
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What a timely thriller for such a tragic crisis that is plaguing all of us. Opioids are such a devastating epidemic that is at the top of this book which makes it even more of a sad story. It's a great read! Thank you for writing such a great book!
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I loved this relevant medical book! I enjoy reading Canadian books as I am a Canadian. This book hit close to home as we are in a huge opioid crisis here.
It was definitely thrilling! I loved it
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This book has been languishing in my to-be-read pile for months.  I keep starting it, but never seem to be able to get into the story.  Thanks to NetGalley for providing access to a digital ARC but this book wasn't able to capture my interest.
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Very well written book that has me looking forward to reading other books by this author. Intriguing look into the back end of the drug trade, and all that could go wrong. I also hope to hear about other books with the same main characters to see where their future goes.
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I work in the medical field and have always loved medical thrillers. This is a great one with plenty of twists and turns. You will not be disappointed!
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This was a fast paced read about the opioid epidemic in Vancouver, and it kept me engaged right through to the last page.  It's touted as a thriller but I wasn't getting that kind of vibe at all.  It almost read like a non-fiction book with the amount of info that was shared.
The author himself is a practicing MD, and that really came through in the characters and the way things were described.
I found the book compelling and insightful, and happily give it ☆☆☆☆.
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Give me anything from Daniel Kalla, Canadian and a doctor to boot. I was drawn in from the first paragraph. An ER doc and a Vancouver detective work together to investigate after a group od teens land in the ER wity fentanyl overdoses. This story is detailed and real and gives an accurate picture of the crisis that is happening everywhere. It is a thoughtful story and so perfectly written. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves medical mysteries, investigative cops and little bit of love while exploring loss and the everyday struggles of ER docs and cops alike. 

Pick up this book!!!!
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Medical thrillers are always up my alley, and this one was no different. Kalla's writing is so well done in this book, I was rushing through pages before I realized it.
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I'm from Vancouver and I have followed the fentanyl crisis closely. The articles that our local news puts out, including interviews and features from local first responders and ER staff are very similar to the story described in this book. There was a weekend where a bunch of young people in one of the Vancouver suburbs OD'd en masse. I remember reading the articles. I think part of this story is based on that incident.

This book was an intimate, fictionalized-yet-based-on-reality, medical/police thriller take on what's happening in my very own backyard. Very well-described, the main character and her police contact try to determine how all of the overdoses of young teens, seasoned users, and wealthy business types are related...are they? Where is this harder-than-hard drug coming from? Who is dealing it and why?

It was disturbing, and made even more disturbing because it was so relatable and I can attest to the reality behind the "fiction". So, the author's day job is an ER doctor in Vancouver. I guarantee that much of his story, as well as the investigative cop stuff is based on real events. Also living in Vancouver myself I can comfortably assume that this story is based more on fact than fiction.

I have driven through the epicentre of the Vancouver drug crisis...I have accidentally found myself walking along Hastings and Main on more than one occasion. I've seen people on the side of the road with needles hanging out of their arms. It is disturbing and very, very real. The gangsters, users, innocents, and heroes of the healthcare industry as described in this book are also very, very real.

If you want an eye-opening look into the drug crisis and how it's affecting society from the expected users to the unexpected "privileged", as well as a sort of narrative that will guarantee your curious mind never travels down that path...this is the book for you. I really appreciated that the author, while medical in background, did include medical terms, acronyms, and jargon, but made sure to define them so that the average reader knew what was being discussed.

One of my favourite authors, Michael Crichton, also started out like this as an MD who wrote novels in his spare time, and this book did not disappoint. I also love finding out that something I enjoyed was local so I will definitely be checking out more books by this author!

Thank-you to NetGalley and the publisher for my advanced reader copy.

Characters: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Plot: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Writing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Overall: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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This is a very intriguing and riveting novel about drugs which takes place in  Vancouver.     It totally keeps your interest and a gripping read
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Julie is a clinical toxicologist and ER physician working the night shift  when multiple fentanyl overdoses are brought to her ER and the race is on to save them.  Anson is one of the Vancouver Police Officers working the case to find out how the kids got the drugs. Follow them as they work together to answer the families questions in aftermath the senseless tragedy of the overdoses. Quick read full of suspense, heartbreak and romance. 

Thank you NetGalley, Daniel Kalla and Simon & Schuster for this edition and hearing my honest review. Looking forward to reading more with you
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This was a book i would never have chose for myself. Off it hadn’t been for receiving those as an ARC i would never have picked it up. I found this book thoroughly entertaining and it kept my attention throughout. Thank you for the ARC! I will now search for other books by this author.
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The opioid crisis is mostly front page news in the 21st century. Daniel Kallas has written a medical drama that views the crisis from multiple perspectives: medical, community, the addict, the person in recovery, the dealers, and law enforcement. The story begins with a group of teens partying with no alcohol or drugs. Except one of the teens decides to spike the lemonade with ecstasy. By the end of the night 6 of the 7 kids would be dead, another dozen would die from the same drug before the crime was solved. Solving the crime would fall upon Dr. Julie Rees, ER doctor and toxicologist, and Detective Anson Chen, from the Vancouver Police Department.

The Last High allows the reader to understand the issues as seen by the various players. We meet the addict who is always an addict; we meet the dealers who are as much businessmen as they are filthy criminals; and we meet members of law enforcement who have seen it all.

Daniel Kalla, an emergency physician from Vancouver BC, presents a compelling story that draws the reader into the lives of all concerned. The book also provides an overview of the opioid crisis to those of us who are not involved directly in the midst of it. My only wish is that a book, though fiction, that delves into a subject of current interest might include an epilogue that suggest places that the general reader could learn more about the opioid epidemic and how the public can help address the problems it creates. Alas, this book is missing this final step.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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There is a certain eerie element to this tale in that it seems like something that is coming right out of the newspaper headlines in real time. With the escalation of deaths attributed to Opioids, the concept of a lethal, tainted batch of Fentanyl making it onto the streets isn’t so far off. Set in Vancouver, Canada, ER doctor Julie Rees has seen a lot in her life. She herself is a recovering Opioid addict who lost her fiancé to an overdose. Living with her guilt she feels compelled to do all she can to save the lives of addicts who come into her ER. She is unprepared for an accidental overdose that brings multiple teenagers into her ER. Unlike other Opioid cases, this unfortunate group of teens are succumbing at an alarming rate. They are only the beginning as it becomes apparent that a particularly deadly batch of Fentanyl is on the streets. Julie joins her friend, Detective Anson Chen, in the investigation. With many powerful drug sellers in the game, who would have the motivation to release a deadly batch of Fentanyl? Like I said this story has a real life vibe to it, which is also bolstered by the author’s obvious experience in the medical field. This is a story that has a little bit of everything. A little romance, a multidimensional look into the drug world, excitement, and a touch of sadness for all the lives affected by these insidious drugs. Any one of them, while they are fictional could stand in and represent a real life cut short. Review posted to Goodreads. Amazon, Litsy, Facebook and LibraryThing.
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Based on reviews, I went into this with lofty expectations. That being said, I found the first half rather mediocre, wondering whether I was reading a different book. It wasn't until the last 25% where the pace and intensity really picked up, making this an extremely enjoyable read.
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The Last High is set in Vancouver & centers on the opioid epidemic. The novel opens with a group of teenagers overdosing at a party & being brought the the emergency department where Dr. Julia Rees works. Dr. Rees is a former opioid addict who lost her partner to a fentanyl overdose. Dr. Rees works tirelessly to save two of the teenagers, but is flummoxed as to why the fentanyl affected them so quickly & why multiple doses of naloxone failed to revive most of the teens. Dr. Rees soon teams up with Detective Anson Chen to discover who is dealing the drugs, which come to been known as the last high. This story is suspenseful & the characters are relatable. Mr. Kalla draws upon his experiences & expertise as an ER physician to led authenticity to The Last High. Opioid dependency & overdose is a tragically timely topic & Mr. Kalla represents it realistically while acknowledging the complexities of addiction. Overall, The Last High is a thought-provoking read that addresses the opioid crisis in a sensitive way using the unique perspective of a former addict. Thank you NetGalley & publisher for an ARC of this novel.
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