The Red Death by Birgitte Margen

THE RED DEATH (A Pandemic Medical Thriller: Plague) by [Märgen, Birgitte]

4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: September 25th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find The Red Death: Amazon

Book synopsis:

AN ANCIENT DISEASE re-emerges in the heart of New York City—a deadly bacteria that gave rise to the Black Death. Maggie De Luca, an epidemiologist who is fighting her own demons, works to uncover clues to contain the disease, but is always one step behind—her fate determined by the flip of a coin. Microbiologist Michael Harbinger believes he can make a vaccine that can stop the disease, but to do so would require an elusive plant that only grows in a remote region of the Amazon. 

With the help of J.D. Stallings, a paleoanthropologist, and Samantha Boutroux, a bacteriologist, they set out to find the plant that holds the key before the Red Death pandemic grips the world—or has the First Horseman of the Apocalypse, Plague, already opened the gates to our final annihilation? 

The mother of all plagues is back . . . 
Let the death toll begin . . . 

“RING AROUND THE ROSIE, 
POCKETS FULL OF POSIES, 
ASHES . . . ASHES . . . 
WE ALL FALL DOWN.”


First Line:

New York City is one of the most densely populated cities in the United States, encompassing a land area of approximately 302.6 square miles, and inhabited with over 8.5 million people.

The Red Death by Birgitte Marden

My Review:

It had been a while since I read a pandemic novel. When I read the blurb for The Red Death, I was intrigued and was eager to read the book. I wasn’t let down. The Red Death was a fantastic book to read.

The plotlines for The Red Death were super fast. From the first point of infection to the end, the author didn’t let the pace falter. I was impressed that she was able to convey the desperation behind the actions of the main characters.

The author also did something that I rarely see most authors do successfully. She took secondary storylines about the plague’s first victims and weaved them into the story. She was able to build a timeline with those victims. As I said, I haven’t seen it done successfully too often, and I loved that she was able to do it.

I loved Maggie. She tried hard to warn the CDC and the hospital about how contagious the disease was. Both times, she was brushed off. I was mad about the CDC brush off. They had a freaking vaccine, and they refused to do anything!! It made me wonder how often this does happen in real life. I also liked that Maggie was determined to find where the disease originated. She did some serious detective work. I was impressed with how she tracked the disease’s origin down.

I did like Michael, but I thought he was a pushover. He came across as too gentle. I didn’t believe that he would survive the Amazon trip. He was too soft. I mean, he took high tech gadgets into an area known not to be hospitable to people.

Stallings rubbed me the wrong way. His first impression was that he was a has-been who was hanging onto decades-old hurts. Plus, Stallings gambled, a lot. With his history with Michael, I didn’t think he would take him to the Amazon. But he did, which amazed me. Also, what surprised me was how his character grew. He turned into someone that Michael needed by his side in the Amazon. In the end, he was the real hero.

What scared me the most about this book was that it could happen in real life. There is always a threat of a pandemic sweeping the country and then the world — scary stuff. For the author to have ground zero be New York City was pure genius. In a city, that size, a disease like the Red Death could spread in days. It didn’t take much to start the spread of the disease.

The ending was great. I liked how the author chose to combine the two storylines. But the epilogue didn’t do it for me. If the author left it with New York City, then I would have liked it. But the whole Las Vegas part of it made me go “meh.”


I would give The Red Death an Adult rating. There is sex. There is no language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Red Death. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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3 thoughts on “The Red Death by Birgitte Margen

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