ARC Review: Outbreak by Frank Gardner

Good morning everyone,

Well I say good morning as I’ll be posting this in the morning but it’s actually pretty late the night before. I wanted to get this review written up now whilst the book is still fresh in my mind. I hope that all of you living in my future are having a fantastic day.

Book 📖

I know this book is a thriller but it’s not my usual kind of thriller. It is a type of book that I enjoy; I just don’t read enough of them. So I was super excited to get the chance to add this book to my read list. Thank you to @FrankRGardner and @TransworldBooks for this advanced audio copy of Outbreak in return for an honest review. Outbreak is due to be published on 27th May 2021 and you can get a copy here.

Description 🔖

Three scientists from the UK are battling a blizzard deep in the Arctic Circle but when they spot an abandoned cabin ahead they start to feel some relief. As they enter the cabin they immediately realise that something is very wrong. A severely sick man is in the cabin and when the team medic approaches him to help she quickly figures out that whatever this man is suffering from is very dangerous and very contagious.

Within hours, UK government and bodies are working to try and contain the disease and investigate its origin. Intelligence concludes that this is a terrifying man made bio weapon created to cause destruction. Luke Carlton from the MI6 is assigned to work on the case and is thrown into danger every which way, but is he looking in the right places?

General Thoughts 🤔

As soon as I started this book I knew I was going to like it. It’s packed with action, tension and it’s so fast paced. I don’t know what it is about intelligence operatives and covert missions but I find them really exciting and Outbreak did not disappoint on that front. It was thrillingly nail biting and I was so invested.

Only a week or so ago I was wondering whether or not books set in the present day or future would reference COVID-19. I feel like they have to right? I know it’s fiction but it’s such a big thing that has happened I expected it to start popping up in stories. Although this book is not about COVID-19, I thought that it was referenced just the right amount.

Characters 👭👫👬

I did not realise that this is not the first book from Frank Gardner about Luke Carlton but now that I do, I want to read more. I loved him as a character; flaws and all. I like my heroes to be a little rough around the edges and I got that impression of him. Not scared to break a rule here and there in order to get to a result.

She wasn’t a huge part of the storyline, but for some reason, Luke’s girlfriend irritated me a little. I thought she was a little bit of a nag but then I may have missed some of the history about their relationship that has skewed my opinion of her.

Writing Style ✍🏽

I really liked the way that this book was written. Short and snappy chapters kept me engaged and gripped and I loved some of the cliff hangers. I did get a little confused at times as the chapters jumped locations a lot and I lost track of what was happening where geographically.

I listened to the audiobook and the narration was great. It was dramatic in all of the right places and I’m not ashamed to admit that there were moments where I shouted back at the voice reading me the story as though I was cast into the story.

Conclusion & Scoring 🎖

I thought that this was a really good action thriller and I was even a little bit disappointed that it was over once I was finished. I thought it was a bit of a cross between I Am Pilgrim and the Robert Galbraith series so if you like either of those I would recommend that you give this a try.


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