louise-welshYay! The start of a brand new trilogy. We thriller fans are serial readers: we have our signatures, our readerly modus operandi and we indulge ourselves for as long as we can get away with. The start of a trilogy always gets us excited.  A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh is the first in the Plague Times Trilogy, where death and disaster collide.  And if it’s driving you mad (it did me), the novel takes its name from Fever, the Peggy Lee classic.

‘The Sweats’ is a pandemic sweeping the globe with devastating results. London is a city in crisis: its hospitals full of the dead and dying in a healthcare system no longer able to cope. Amidst the chaos, Stevie Flint is convinced that the sudden death of her boyfriend Dr Simon Sharkey was not down to natural causes. Just because there’s death everywhere, it doesn’t mean murder should go unpunished. As roads out of London become gridlocked with people fleeing from infection, Stevie’s search for Simon’s killers takes her in the opposite direction, into the heart of a city that’s slowly dying – and into her own personal race against death. This is disaster writ large.

Novelist, playwright and short story writer Louise Welsh has a fascinating and eclectic body of work behind her. Her first novel, The Cutting Room picked up not only the CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger award but was also nominated or the Orange Prize for Fiction. She’s also written a novella about Marlowe (genius playwright Christopher, not PI Philip!); The Bullet Trick, a dark tale told by a magician; Naming the Bones and The Girl on the Stairs. Louise is also a historian and in-demand cultural commentator – she even has a libretto under her belt.