Cover Image: The Last High

The Last High

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Member Reviews

Drugs are bad. I know this, having read countless medical thrillers. But this book brings that fact to life by giving us characters we like and care about. The heros of this story are not perfect, the female protagonist is a doctor who has a troubled past with drugs. This makes her more human and more believable. There is a large cast of characters, but it is easy to keep them apart. Some we care about more than others. The deadly drug cuts a wide path of victims, from high schoolers to lawyers. In the end good prevails, but the story shows how easily it would be to die from not knowing what is in something you are taking.
I really enjoyed this book. I am going to go look for another by Daniel Kalla. Thanks to Netgalley for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for a review. More like this please!!
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exciting thriller - i loved the fact that this was medicine-related and had a great cover

I love the title as well
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The Last High refers to the result a person experiences when taking a drug that has been tainted to a lethal level. In this book, Daniel Kalla writes about the synthetic opioid crisis set in Vancouver, British Columbia. The characters range from the medical professionals trying to save the lives of the users to the dealers and police personnel who are always on the hunt. The characters are very realistic and the topic is timely. The pace of the book is fast and the story line is issue-oriented.
My only critique would be a brief addition of unnecessary political bias, which didn't fit within an otherwise engaging story.
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Thank you to Simon & Schuster for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Dr. Julie Rees is an ER doctor and a toxicologist who along with Detective Anson Chen are investigating a large number of drug overdoses that are resulting in an increase of fatalities. 
This book is a great look into the opioid crisis and the people from all walks of life that are affected. Full of fast paced action, danger and even a little romance. The characters are fully developed and engaging. 
Any book that has Daniel Kalla's name on it, is one that I will immediately grab, without reading the summary because he is a proven storyteller sure to delight any reader looking for a great way to spend a few hours.
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I loved this book.  Never having read this author in the past, was not sure how I'd like it..but it was a great read! Very relevant to today's fentanyl crisis.  I particularly liked the Canadian content and the medical drama.
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Why are people dropping dead like flies?  Apparently, there is a drug, carfentenal, circulatiing the streets of Vancouver.  Join Julie, an emergency room doctor and toxicologist, as she works with the Vancouver Police Department's detectives Theo and Anson to solve where this drug is coming from and how to stop it.  Excellent read that keeps you going right from page 1.
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Entertaining if somewhat predictable. I learned quite a bit about the fentanyl problem in Vancouver. For that alone it's worth a read. But somewhat unrealistic esp. in how a civilian was so involved in law enforcement matters, such as going on takedowns.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada and Netgalley for an ARC of this book.
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I read this as an ARC and thoroughly appreciated it.
Kalla, of course, knows his stuff about Vancouver's opioid crisis from his ER perspective. I can't comment on the police perspective, but it felt very real to me.
The book has it all — action, violence, trauma, mystery, and a touch of romance.
The characters are believable and well-differentiated. tension and pacing mean that readers will not be able to put The Last High down.
Highly recommended.
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Being a nurse, the medical thriller genre is one of my absolute favorites. I have read several of this author's books and was very much looking forward to this one. The main character, while flawed, was a smart, interesting doctor. She teams up with a detective to find the people responsible for the deaths of many people in the city. The book was well written but the ending was just a let down to me. It was predictable and not very satisfying. Although I didn't enjoy this one as much as his other books, I will be looking for his next publication.
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* I received The Last High by Daniel Kalla from NetGalley for my honest review*

The Last High by Daniel Kalla is a thriller about a new and deadly drug strand that hits the streets of Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Julie Rees is haunted by her own past with addiction. Still, her history pushes her into becoming an ER doctor and a toxicologist with Poison Control. After a group of teenagers overdosed, her unique skills leads her to assist Detective Anson Chen to find the source of the drug nicknamed “The Last High”.

The best part of this novel was the sympathetic take on drug addiction. Kalla was very careful to portray the addicts as victims of a disease. In the story, we see the suffering of victims and her families. The narrator tells the reader about the forgotten epidemic of addiction that steals the lives of people’s children, siblings and partners. Kalla is skilled in showing the tragedy of a society fails addicts.

The Last High has a diverse cast of characters of various backgrounds. I appreciated the rich cast of characters. However, there were a couple of awkward racial moments. For instance, in one scene, the narrator describes a character as a “darker man.” This is a pet peeve of mine when author used darker to mean a POC or person with brown skin. It does not tell the reader what the person looks like or what their ethnicity is. With that said, most of the writing around POC was well done. 

 Kalla writes complex characters even with the “bad guys.” With that said, I think the novel has too many point of view characters. I think all the different characters and POVs took away from really getting to know the characters. For example, Anson, the love interest of Dr. Rees, isn’t a POV character. I wanted more about his life to be invested in their relationship.

The various POVs slowed the pacing of the story. The story started off with a big dramatic scene, but after that it dragged for me until I got to the second half of the novel.

The novel was very informative about addiction in Canada. However, sometimes the dialogue felt unnatural as the characters tried to explain addiction or medical terminology.

I loved the mystery angle of The Last High. There were a lot of interesting questions such as What is this drug? Was this an accident or mass murder? I think people who like medical drama or slow burn thrillers will enjoy this book a lot.

I give The Last High 3.5 out 5 stars. I liked the plot and the clearly well researched insight into the world of addiction in Vancouver. I appreciated how addiction was treated respectfully. The main character, Dr. Reese,  was very relatable. But the pacing was a little slow and various POV took away from the main characters’ development. I will definitely read more from Daniel Kalla. I am particularly interested in his book “Pandemic” for timely reasons.
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The Last High by Daniel Kalla is a very interesting account of one of the biggest epidemics of our time, opioid abuse.

Dr. Julie Rees it's a DR doctor and toxicologist who is working at the hospital when a group of teens are brought in, believed to be od'd on fentanyl. Detective Anson Chen is the detective called in to investigate. Together Julie and Anson discover something worse has happened and work to find out how and why, along with who is responsible.

As someone who has experienced opioid addiction's destruction firsthand, I found this book both tragic and informative in a easy to understand format that made me want to keep turning the pages. It kept me engrossed till the end.

I recommend this mystery thriller to everyone.

I would like to thank #NetGalley and the author for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinions!
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Disturbing And Frightening Medical Thriller!

Dr. Julie Rees an emergency room  doctor who also happens to be a toxocologist is working the night shift when a call suddenly comes through with five teens on the way to the hospital who are not breathing and they all attended the same party.   The first assumption is opioid drug overdose but how could they take out the kids so quickly all at one time.  Julie struggles to save these kids because she understands the heartbreaking pain of losing a loved one to drug overdose.   Soon after, detectives arrive to assess the dire situation and Julie happens to be friends with Detective Chen and he needs her expertise in these cases as the calls to the er continue to come through with more people not breathing and drug paraphernalia by their side and the standard medical reversal drug naloxone given by the paramedics is not working on these victims of drug poisoning.  Julie and Detective Chen will team up to try to find the dealer and distributor of this poison before it travels out of the city  it hasn't done so already.   In the meantime bodies keep dropping and time is of the essence before this becomes a worldwide pandemic.

What a timely and very disturbing story of the opioid crisis that America has been facing for quite awhile.   This book has taken on an important and authentic subject matter that is filled with suspense and excitement.   This book was so well-written that I couldn't stop reading fast enough and put everything else aside because there was so much thrilling action going on and I was so pumped up with adrenaline that I needed to read and not sleep until I finished this book.   Daniel Kalla did wonderful  research for this story and he is terrific writer.   This is my first time reading a book by him but it certainly won't be my last.   I am so pleased to have found this incredible book to read.   If anyone is interested in the drug epidemic happening out there or just wants to read a very realistic medical thriller, please don't hesitate to pick this book up.   The author did an amazing job with the subject matter and the believability of what could really happen to any family in America.

I want to thank the publisher " Simon And Shuster" and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this terrific story and any thoughts and opinions expressed are unbiased and mine alone!

I highly recommend this thrilling book and have given a rating of 5 Sinister And Toxic 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Stars!!
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Thank you Netgalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Daniel Kalla.
Well written medical thriller set in Vancouver British Columbia amidst the opioid crisis.
Well researched topic, fast paced, fast read.
Enjoyable characters and I surely hope the author will write a sequel. 
This was my first read from this author and truly loved it.
Highly recommend. 4 stars.
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Dr. Julie Rees is a toxicologist and ER doctor in Vancouver, Canada.
One evening a group of teenagers who have overdosed are brought into the emergency room, all from the same party. Dead or dying, it looks like they are victims of a super dose of fentanyl.
Unfortunately Julie is quite familiar with opioids, she's lost a loved one through addiction.
As more overdoses emerge in the hospital, Julie teams up with detective Anson Chen to investigate what dealers 
are putting out these lethal doses onto the streets. And they must try and stop them as the death toll increases.
This was a fast paced, exciting medical thriller. I liked how the author explained the medical terms and procedures in a way that was easy to understand. 
The main characters were engaging and I enjoyed the chemistry between them.
I would love to see them continue in a series.
Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for the e-ARC via NetGalley.
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This is a fast-paced novel that is alarmingly realistic.  It feels authentic and frightening.  The characters are excellent - likable and relatable.  They're not your cookie=cutter characters. It's interesting pairing a doctor and a police detective to do the sleuthing (and an intriguing personal connection as well)

The book is well written and full of action.  Maybe the first in a series with these characters?  I hope so!!
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I was so excited for this new book by Daniel Kalla. I read his last book, We All Fall Down, last year and could not put it down. Both of these medical thrillers have timely themes, a pandemic in the last book and the opioid crisis in this book. I found The Last High to be fast-paced and well-researched. I liked the mixture of a fictional story interlaced with a behind the scenes look at emergency medicine, police procedures, and drug trafficking. In addition to the main characters, Dr. Julia Rees and Detective Anson Chen, there were many secondary characters who added layers to the story. While sometimes a bit confusing to keep track of, I actually think the story unfolding through their different perspectives is part of what made it so intriguing to me. Overall, I enjoyed this book and am planning to read some of Kalla’s previously published books as well. My rating for this book is four stars! 

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for my copy of this book.
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› Dr. Julie Rees is working at the ER when a group of teens who overdosed at a party are brought in. She's shocked at the deadly effects of the mysterious drug, much worse than regular fentanyl, and suspects something serious is happening in Vancouver.

› There's action right out of the gate and this book is a page-turner, however, I do want to warn readers that there are very descriptive medical procedures which some may find disturbing. The trigger warnings for drug abuse, overdose, death are implied. I'd also like to point out that there is sexual assault and a male purposefully drugs a female to make her "more friendly". I really wish the story would have dived deeper into this situation, showing the male be punished for this action or at least someone saying how horrible it is.

› The Last High has a large cast of characters, but this is about Dr. Rees working with Detective Anson Chen to find out who's selling a deadly illegal drug in Vancouver. I'm Canadian and love to read books by Canadian authors. I lived near Vancouver for a while and have seen the areas talked about, making this all the more real for me.

› Dr. Rees is an incredibly interesting character. Her dark past with drug addiction is a shadow that follows her throughout the narrative and the reader eventually discovers why she's so driven to solve this crime.

› My Goodreads Rating ★★★

› Final Thoughts
• The Last High is a frightening book about greed, addiction, crime, and the opioid crisis. This is a scary and compelling story that I'd recommend to fans of medical/crime thrillers.
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A dear friend recommended Daniel Kalla's novels to me and I am so glad to have started with The Last High.
The author, a true ER physician brought to life the current ongoing opioid crisis so that it was sadly believable and compelling.
A gritty, fast-paced story that focuses on an ER doctor and toxicologist, and a homicide detective who race against time to find the source of a new deadly batch of fentanyl in an attempt to prevent more deaths.
Daniel Kalla gives us a well-crafted medical thriller.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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This novel is set in my neighborhood (sort of.) I am very familiar with the subject matter and where it all takes place due to constant news coverage.
I found the story believable and intriguing. This could very well happen and if a drug like this took off through society, what would the devastation look like. 
Well written, enjoyable characters. I'd read more by this author
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This book was a fast and somewhat disturbing read with great characters that drew me in, and a story so realistic in today's world that I will not soon forget it. I like the Vancouver location, but this story could happen anywhere. The hospital, toxicology, and medical issues seem quite believable. I am very glad I read this one and definitely recommend.
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