Cover Image: The Last High

The Last High

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Member Reviews

A medical thriller and romantic suspense story. Setting is Vancouver, Canada. The main character, Dr. Julie Rees, is an ER physician, and teams up with two detectives Anson and Theo. Together, they must find out who is supplying the deadly fentanyl. This thriller takes the reader from the downtown streets to the wealthy and upscale business world. I can see why the title of this book is The Last High. Easy read, engaging, and truly suspenseful.
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I received an advanced copy through Net Galley. Overall it was an enjoyable read that kept you wanting to know what happened next. I liked the combination of a doctor and a detective and that it focused on OD’s and the fentanyl problem as traditionally mysteries murders are more serial killers and hit men. I found the main female doctor character to be a bit annoying at time, but overall the characters were adequate. I would recommend it as an enjoyable quick read.
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This book started off about as I expected, fast paced and engaging. Sadly, it didn't maintain that throughout. Numerous characters were added, and it was hard to track them all and remember their connections. I never really fully engaged with them, and as the book unfolded, it felt more like I was listening to the story vs. truly being a part of it. The subject manner is timely, but I struggled with this one.
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This novel concerning the drug trade in Vancouver seemed to be well researched and definitely written with heart.  I’m not sure why it didn’t resonate with me, but it didn’t.  Maybe there were too many characters - both good and bad.  Maybe it was that addiction was treated as common place, having public “safe places” to shoot up so that an EMT was present to make sure you didn’t die immediately or to give you a shot of something to hold you until the ambulance arrived.  I think this was the real killer in the story to me – that [it seemed to me] public funds would be used to promote  addiction.

Since the author is an emergency room doc in Vancouver, I’m sure he’s writing from experience as well as research.  That makes what he’s saying all the more horrifying and terrifying.

It was certainly eye opening, but not a book to enjoy.

I received this as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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I devoured this book!! The story moved along quickly and I really liked the characters! I have visited Vancouver in the past so I recognized many of the locations described in the book. The author's use of multiple viewpoints allows the reader to have a greater understanding of the story's scope and impact.  This won't be my last book by Daniel Kalla!
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The blurb of this book had me reaching for the popcorn, a drink and this ARC! Sounded like a good solid thriller.

'Dr. Julie Rees, a toxicologist and ER doctor, is stunned when her emergency room is flooded with teenagers from the same party, all on the verge of death. Julie knows the world of opioids inside and out, and she recognizes that there’s nothing typical about these cases. She suspects the teens took—or were given—fentanyl. But why did they succumb so quickly?

Detective Anson Chen is determined to find out. He and Julie race to track down the supplier of the deadly drugs. But the trail of suspects leads everywhere, from unscrupulous street dealers to ruthless gang leaders who hide behind legitimate business fronts and the walls of their mansions.

As Anson and Julie follow clues through the drug underworld, Julie finds herself haunted by memories of her troubled past—and the lover she lost to addiction. When other overdoses fill the ER—and the morgue—Julie realizes that something even more sinister than the ongoing fentanyl crisis is devastating the streets. And the body count is rapidly rising.'

This is the first book I have read of the author but I will look at his other books as well. I love thrillers and after a long while am I reading a medical thriller.

I loved the world depicted in the book. The dark world of drugs, of addiction, its ramifications. Although fiction I can easily see this in the real world as well. 
The book is extremely well researched and is insightful in its realistic world which is in equal parts gruesome and scary. 

There were many characters in this book but I guess it needed it. I really liked how the author described medical terms in detail which did not alienate the reader at all. The plot was well-paced, edgy and completely engaging. 
I will recommend this gripping tale.

Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I give it a solid 3.5 but for the rating here I will round it upto a 4.
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I would like to thank NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada, and author Daniel Kalla for providing me with an ARC of this book!

I am a HUGE fan of anything medical field related, so I dove into this book! The Last High takes you to an area in Canada that is the hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. After a group of teenagers are killed by a highly lethal combination of drugs, the police and the doctors must come together to figure out who is supplying before more lives are lost.

This was such an awesome read. You were in for the ride, from beginning to end. You could tell this was written by a doctor in the field who has seen this first hand; the raw and gritty details are what helped make this book great. 

What an awesome read. Pick this up on May 12! Thank you to those named above for the opportunity to read & review this ARC.
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I have visited this particular neighborhood that is the backdrop of this book and I know there are hundreds (if not thousands) of other cities dealing with the exact same fallout due to opioid addiction. These drugs do not discriminate and the results are not only sad but terrifying. 😞.
The Last High takes you into the depths of Vancouver’s East side - an area hardest hit by the opioid crisis in Canada. After teenagers are killed by a highly lethal drug concoction that they had no idea they were taking - the police and doctors hunt down who is putting this lethal combination on the streets before any other lives are lost.👮‍♀️.
This book was an easy read and you are along for the journey as these lethal drugs are sought out and you see the route that they take - from their start as raw materials - ending up in a child’s hand at a party. There aren’t any spectacular twists or turns - just a simple (but gritty) police procedural written by an ER doc working on the front lines of this epidemic. I read this from two perspectives - one as a reader who enjoyed the police drama and another as a parent who worries of the realities facing our children. Interesting book, enjoyable read, heartbreaking topic. Thank you to @netgalley and @simonschusterca for an advanced readers copy of this book due to hit stands in May. ⭐️⭐️⭐️.

@tolovetoread #tolovetoread #read #reader #reading #readinglife #readersofinsta #readersofig #readthisbook #book #books #bookstagram #bookworm #bookish #bookreviewer #bibliophile #bookaddict #booksofig #booksof2020 #bookrecommendations #canadareads #bookishcanadians #amreading #bookthoughts #booklife #readanywhere #thelasthigh #netgalley #simonandshustercanada
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I received a free copy from NetGalley.  Read during a pandemic, a different type of death is spreading throughout this story and they need to try and find the source before more people die.  Set in Canada, not a setting I usually read.  Medical terms were okay for a not medical person to understand and the twists and turns were interesting and kept you reading.  Interesting characters.  I look forward to reading more by this author.
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A great read, engaging from the very beginning. Characters are realistic. And the story is contemporary and believable.
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I so badly want this book to be turned into a series! 
There was a gritty realism, complex story arc, and fantastic characters with nuanced backstories. 

The opiod crisis is dark, scary, and more pervasive than our system can handle, yet is something that I know very little about, or rather, knew little about. Kalla brought a level of detail to this story that has me fully trusting the content as an authority on the subject. 
I'm also terrified of how easily people went from having fun at a party to dead. 

I want this cast of characters to come back and to see their relationship progress as they deal with having their demons come up in their professional and personal lives. I want to learn more about the family and community they create, and to explore their world.
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Dr. Reyes is having a rough night in the ER when a group of teenagers, all from the same party, show up in various stages of overdosing. Dr. Reyes suspects the teens have taken fentanyl, a highly dangerous opioid. 
Detective Anson Chen is trying to track down the source of the dangerous drugs as bodies are piling up all over the city. As the Detective and Dr. work together searching for answers, they find multiple suspects and victims,  from street dealers, to executives, hiding behind a corporate office,
The Last High is a fast paced, well written thriller highlighting the dangers of the opioid crisis.
Thank you to NetGalley, Simon and Schuster and Daniel Kalla for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair review.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Daniel Kalla and Simon & Schuster Canada for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.

I was super interested in this novel because we are seeing more drug related deaths and there is easier access to these types of drugs. I wanted to see what the author envisioned for this type of pandemic. I found there is a lot of science behind the drugs and how to go about solving this type of crime and sometimes that became a little boring for me. But once that part was mostly explained and we got down to trying to find out who is dealing these drugs, I flew through it! It was so interesting seeing how dangerous this situation could be. I actually really enjoyed the main characters and I would definitely read another novel with this unusual crime solving duo!

Out May 12th!
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This is a good mystery.   It gives you a good incite to the dangers of street drugs. Unfortunately this book is fiction however, with a great deal of realty.
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A new illegal opioid drug hits the streets of Vancouver leaving many dead as they experience the last high they will ever know. Composed of the ingredient carfentanil, the drug is ten thousand times as strong as heroin and kills users almost instantly. 

Julie Rees, an ER physician and toxicologist at St. Michael's, is working when ambulances bring 6 teenagers into her department -- all but 2 are dead. When other users from all walks of society start falling victim to this deadly drug, Julie teams up with Detective Anson Chen of the VPD to track the source, the suppliers, and trace new overdoses. NO SPOILERS.

This was an excellent read and I really enjoyed it. The scourge of opioids in our society is well-documented and has proven very hard to control. The narrative is action-packed and quite interesting -- it's obvious that the author did a tremendous amount of research along with pulling from his own personal experiences as an ER physician. The dynamics of the gangs and cooks, the "plugs" and those that seek the high are quite well described. I loved the characters and found them sympathetic and believable for the most part. It's a very timely and scary read. Daniel Kalla writes, "I want you to enjoy the story, I hope it will also make you a little more aware of a terribly indiscriminate and potentially stoppable killer that is raving our communities." 

I'm a sucker for any medical thriller; I have read other books by this author and can recommend them to any who enjoy this genre. Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster, Inc. for this e-book ARC to read and review.
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Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. 
Expected publication date: May 12, 2020
Daniel Kalla is an ER physician in Vancouver, and a bestselling author. Although I have not read Kalla before, most of his novels revolve around medical crises and science phenomenons (which, due to his experience, make perfect sense). His newest novel, “The Last High”, is a powerful story of drug addiction, those who fall prey to it, and those who try and stop it. 
 Dr. Julie Rees is an ER doctor and toxicology specialist who is also a recovering opioid addict. When her emergency room becomes increasingly flooded with overdose patients, many of whom don’t make it, Julie begins to suspect that a super deadly dose of fentanyl is making the rounds. With the help of police detective Anson Chen, Julie seeks to investigate where the deadly drug, nicknamed “The Last High”, is coming from and who is distributing it. Both Anson and Julie must find the source of the drug and stop its production, but time is of the essence as bodies continue to pile up. 
Kalla portrays the deep, dark world of fentanyl addiction, and the dangers faced by users, and takes it one step further by introducing a drug of such potency, users very rarely survive. With his medical expertise, Kalla is able to portray an almost realistic portrayal of the underbelly of the drug trade. Although the story itself is gruesome and terrifying, the realism is there too, and the believability of this story is the scariest of all. 
Julie is a successful medical doctor, haunted by the death of her late boyfriend, Michael, whom she watched die of an overdose. With this disturbing past, she makes it a personal goal to seek and destroy the makers of this dangerous drug. Her relationship with Anson is complicated and complex, the on-again-off-again romantic pair that must also face working together on a dangerously personal case in the seedy underworld of the Vancouver drug trade. 
The characters in this novel are plentiful, although necessary, but it is sometimes difficult to keep up with who works for whom (again, this adds realism to the novel as the police investigate the ties between the drug gangs). The medical knowledge Kalla has is evident, but he takes his time to adequately explain jargon and medical procedures without condescension. 
Well-researched, gripping, and deeply realistic “The Last High” tells the all-too-real story of the dingy drug world, the high powered gangs who run it, and the innocent people who fall prey to it. This is a story that will stick with you, haunt you and also educate you, and you will leave the novel a different person than when you started it.
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Daniel Kalla, bestselling author of The Pandemic and We All Fall Down now brings us a medical mystery centered on the opiod crisis. The Last High is set in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Its lead is ER physician/toxicologist Dr. Julie Rees, whose tragic past still haunts her. After a series of overdose deaths from a super-potent opioid, Julie works with Detective Anson Chen to identify the poison and track down its source.

The Last High is a gripping thriller, not to be missed.
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The fentanyl crisis is at the forefront of The Last High, the latest medical thriller from Daniel Kalla.
Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I wondered how interested I'd be in this topic seeing as we're in the midst of a pandemic medical crisis, but great storytelling held my attention. (Of note, Kalla's first book is called Pandemic.)
Dr. Julie Rees is an ER physician and toxicologist with a history of opioid addiction. A large number of overdoses quickly catch her attention and the area's street fentanyl is determined to be tainted with pure carfentanil - 100 times more potent than fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine. This is a situation right out of 
real life as carfentanil poses a huge threat to users, frontline workers and the general public. 
Interspersed with the hospital story are those of users, dealers and ones attempting to assist. It's a well-written and interesting story and the medical basis is sound, as the author is a Vancouver emerg physician. 
This is the first book I've read of his and I am quite likely to read others. There are a lot of characters and asides to keep track of which bog things down slightly, but overall it's a fast-paced read. Recommended!
For release on May 12, 2020.
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Great read. A doctor and a detective are looking for the culprit of a serious opioid crisis in Vancouver. It’s fast moving pace, smart characters. Very enjoyable read.
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A gripping and heartbreaking medical thriller that I couldn't put down.

Dr. Julie Rees, an ER doc and toxicologist, and Detective Anson Chen investigate after multiple teens are brought to the ER after overdosing at a party. They learn that the cause is carfentanil. Trying to keep the deadly drug off the street and find out who is responsible has them talking to users and their families, and street dealers, all the way up to suspected importers. 

Well written with interesting characters and a great amount of detail.

Thank you Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for this ARC.
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