Talking Location With author Graham Hurley: BAKU
A thriller set on an island you won’t want to visit… INNER HEBRIDES
19th April 2021
Anthrax Island by D L Marshall – a thriller set on an island you won’t want to visit – INNER HEBRIDES.
Gruinard Island, in the Inner Hebrides off the West Coast of Scotland, was used in the 1940s to test methods of delivering anthrax into bombs intended for Germany. The more powerful the strain, the better…The idea was fortunately eventually shelved. The authorities thought that, after the war, the anthrax spores on the island would fade away over time. They did not. In 1979 a clean up expedition was sent to three key areas on the island – they were thoroughly disinfected with formaldehyde diluted with sea water. So much is fact – and is the background to Anthrax Island.
It is now the present day and a small group of multinational scientists is back on the island, researching what still may be left of the anthrax spores. The island is totally infested. A safety technician is found dead. No one know why or how and our hero, John Tyler – an off the record freelance operative for MI5 – is sent in (disguised as a replacement technician) to investigate. The next part of the book is a little like an Agatha Christie mystery on steroids. John discovers the cause of his predecessor’s death, and is himself nearly killed. Other murders follow… As each happens the survivors are more aware that one of them has to be the killer. It does not aid mood or sleep patterns. Almost all of them could be imagined to have motive. Try and work it out – I doubt you’ll succeed.
The end game is as frightening as it is intense. Shots are fired and people are wounded. The guilty person escapes, but not for long. He (or is it she) is tracked down.
Anthrax Island is an excellent and fast moving thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. There are many twists and turns and false clues that aid the process. Marshall has clearly done a great deal of research into anthrax, Porton Down, and the efforts of states around the world (not all of them rogue) to develop chemical weapons. The background is very convincing.
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