An Air That Kills

How long can you hold your breath?

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Pub Date 22 Nov 2019 | Archive Date 28 Apr 2020
Lion Hudson Ltd, Lion Fiction

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The atmosphere in the lab is toxic.

It is only a matter of time before there is a flu pandemic with the potential to kill billions.

Or so wealthy entrepreneur Lyle Lynstrum believes. That is why he is funding research into transgenics - the mechanism by which viruses can jump the species barrier - at a high security lab on a tidal island off the North Devon coast.

A suspiciously rapid turnover of staff has him worried. He sends in scientist Katie Flanagan as an undercover lab technician. Something is clearly very wrong, but before Katie can get to the bottom of what is going on, a colleague is struck down by a mysterious illness.

Has the safety of the facility been compromised, allowing a deadly virus to escape? Katie begins to suspect that the scientists are as deadly as the diseases - and that her cover has been blown.

Then the island is cut off by high seas and a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse begins...

The atmosphere in the lab is toxic.

It is only a matter of time before there is a flu pandemic with the potential to kill billions.

Or so wealthy entrepreneur Lyle Lynstrum believes. That is why he is...

Advance Praise

"Nobody writes medical mysteries with more authority than Christine Poulson. She has the precious gift of engaging and informing us as we become involved in the lives of her characters. This is her biggest theme yet - it's of global significance. The implications concern us all."  Peter Lovesey, author of Killing with Confetti, a Detective Peter Diamond novel
"A thrilling, thought-provoking read. A real page-turner."  Kate Ellis, author of The Mechanical Devil, a Wesley Peterson murder mystery
"A group of near strangers being thrown together on a tidal island is a classic crime setting... and for good reason. But add a research lab full of disease-carrying mosquitoes, a heroine with no great skill at staying undercover, and the shadowiest of shadowy killers, and you can feel the tension ratchet up with every chapter. Poulson knows her way around a lab and is unmatched at depicting the lives of working scientists and demystifying their world for a general audience, while never letting the setting overpower the story. Here the stakes are high, the suspects are many and the solution is satisfying. I loved it." Catriona McPherson, multi-award-winning author of Strangers at the Gate
"A compelling and original mystery with a convincingly detailed plot. It highlights the perils of viral research when a scientist goes rogue. An atmospheric setting and a rich cast of characters ensure that this is a highly intriguing read."  Rebecca Tope, author of Secrets in the Cotswolds, a Cotswolds murder mystery

"Nobody writes medical mysteries with more authority than Christine Poulson. She has the precious gift of engaging and informing us as we become involved in the lives of her characters. This is her...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781782642831
PRICE $12.95 (USD)

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Average rating from 7 members

Featured Reviews

A very well crafted and exceptionally well researched book. I hadn’t realised it was the second in a series but after doing some research I found that although there are some same characters the two books are completely stand alone. The characters are all developed and interesting and if you like to end a book feeling just a tad anxious then this is definitely for you.

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I wasn't sure about this book at first. It had some parts that confused me. But gradually I grew to like the main character and her quiet ways. The book has some science to it but it's kept on a pretty basic level of understanding. I liked Katie interactions with her co-workers and her boyfriend Justin. I felt the investigating was softly done and that the killer was a mystery right up to the ending. That there was a killer was a mystery right up to the end. I ended up enjoying this book. #AnAirThatKills #NetGalley

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Loved this book! I am a scientist yet learned a lot as well. I felt that at the student level this book would be awesome. The characters were well developed and the plot kept me guessing. All of the time Katie spent at the laboratory, I felt tension and suspense.

Unusual and different types of characters blend together well in the story. Yet, the reader knows something sinister is going on...

Katie/Caitlin is always "on pins and needles" afraid that she may break her cover. Working with Lyle Linstrom, is a plus as is Justin, Katie's friend from her time working in Antarctica.

Highly recommend - give this book a try!

Many Thanks to Lion Hudson Ltd. and NetGalley for the great read!

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Katie goes undercover as a technician named Caitlin to ferret out possible scientific fraud at an isolated BL3 research facility. One of her new colleagues falls grievously ill shortly thereafter, and Caitlin is forced to hide her medical background from the others while at the same time making the diagnosis no one else suspected. Movie buffs will be reminded of the time Harrison Ford secretly saved a patient’s life while posing as an orderly in The Fugitive. Many complications ensue as the team realizes that someone on site wishes them harm. The book gives a flavor of life in the lab while maintaining a sense of suspense. The various twists and occasional threat of danger keep the action moving along. The protagonist is appealing, and there are plenty of suspects to keep the reader guessing. The ending is satisfying, if not a huge surprise..

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a digital advance review copy.

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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with the e-ARC. I think with the Coronavirus possibly becoming a global pandemic this book's premise is even more scary and realistic.

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A very well written and researched book. this book is the second in a series but can be read as a standalone. The characters are well developed,interesting and believable. The story line of this book is creepily timely so if you find current world situations frightening you want want to save this one for a later date. But this book is extremely good and I do recommend it!!

I received this book from NetGalley and Lion Hudson LTD for an honest review.

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4,5 stars
After spending 6 months on a scientific expedition in Antarctica, Katie came back home in Ely to find that her friends have moved on in there life while she felt that her career was stagnating. To remedy her restlessness she decides to work in one of her friend's lab as an undercover technician named Caitlin to investigate the work of one of the researchers, who seems to have always "perfect results".
"An air that kills" was an interesting dive into the world of virology and tropical medicine. I was enchanted by the atmosphere of cat 3 labs and insectaries.
The mystery in the story was well constructed and kept me guessing until the end. The details were thorough and accurate and the dynamics between the characters were strong and lively. It's definitely not your usual morose thriller. the story got a sweet undertone of new friendships and the promise of love.

There were some details that I couldn't wrap my head around like Katie's illness, was it really the shingles, or did she got malaria too when she got bitten? and what happened Antarctica for Katie to be called a whistle-blower?
Highly recommended to all thrillers, and medical thrillers fans.
Many thanks to Netgalley, and Lion Hudson Ltd for my review copy

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