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Summary

They said that 25 percent of the population would catch the flu. Between 70 percent and 80 percent of them would die. He had been directly exposed to it, and the odds weren't good.

A city in quarantine.

London is in lockdown under martial law. A hospital is being urgently built by the river Thames to contain the thousands of victims of a flu-like epidemic. Construction is brought to a sudden halt when a leather holdall containing the bones of a child is unearthed from the rubble. 

A killer without remorse.

A psychopath has been unleashed on the city; his mission is to take all measures necessary to prevent the bones from being identified. But why are he and his handlers determined to go to such murderous lengths to hide the origins of the body?

A grieving inspector.

DI Jack MacNeil is facing his last day on the force, his career in ruins, his marriage over and his beloved son, Jack, dying from the virus. He has only hours to prevent the killer from eliminating all witnesses to a conspiracy whose evil effects are beyond belief.

©2020 Peter May (P)2020 Quercus Editions Limited

What listeners say about Lockdown

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

There is a reason it wasn't published in 2005...

I'd just finished coffin road and saw this coming out a few days later, so bought it as I've read around 6 of May's books and all but one has been excellent.

This one is impressive for his thinking of a flu pandemic in London 15 years ago... and that's about all. Wooden story, tired old tropes about how pandemic will go down and truly wooden dialogue. There is a reason it wasn't picked up and published when he first wrote it - it's just not very good. In the intervening years May has become a much better writer. You can see the bones of that here, but it's not a good book and without the lockdown would never have seen the light of day.

The end is so far signalled ahead of time it all feels like an inevitability. Avoid unless you're a super fan. I'm going to return it.

38 people found this helpful

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This book should have been labelled fantasy.

As a lover of Peter May's books, I couldn't stop reading this one; because it was to daft for words. The virus we now know to be believeable. The main character Jack and the burn victim in this story were unbelieveable. Anxiously awaited this book and was left feeling grateful that this wasn't the first Peter May book I'd ever read or, I may have missed out on many other good reads.

17 people found this helpful

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More dated than prescient

I’m not often troubled by an overly sensitive Political Correctness detector, but this book made me cringe in so many places, starting with Tom whom we deduce is gay because of nudge nudge references to sore backsides. And while novelists are of course supposed to be able to inhabit the minds of their characters, it feels rather creepy for a white, middle aged male author to give voice to the thoughts of his younger, Asian, disabled female character about how great it is having sex with his white, middle aged, male protagonist. The lockdown details were interesting and the plot adequate, but overall this felt like an airport novel from the last century that should have stayed there.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Q
  • 17-05-20

As ever Peter May brilliance

As simple as the plot is the detail is utterly captivating and mesmerising brilliantly plotted Fantastically breathtaking narrated a combination of talent on talent roll on the next release Q

6 people found this helpful

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Overall I enjoyed this

This isn't only about the country in the midst of a pandemic, but really it is a murder story.

I love the way that Peter May writes, he goes into details that don't leave the reader feeling lost.

My only 'gripe' is that I found the manner of the ending,and the abilities of an injured man a tad unbelievable. However, I did enjoy it and am delighted that Mr May has very generously donated the proceeds towards the current needs caused by the Covid-19 virus.

This was beautifully read by Peter Forbes, as per usual!

5 people found this helpful

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Gripping right to the end

I didn't want to rush this, but haad to download on audible as reading puts me to sleep, the characters were great, even chucking in Walter Smith at the end, haha..but as the book got into the last 2 hours, It was like I was pulled into the story and told I'm not going anywhere I was definitely in lockdown mode..to think Peter May could write a book about something that hadn't yet happened is genius alone unless he was in it with all the other governments who by some conspiracy theorists reckonings this lockdown was deliberately planned by World leaders..anyway I'd recommend the book and I am now ready for my 2nd Peter May book..

4 people found this helpful

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Good idea but quite predictable and far fetched!

The book made a strong start and the premise is good, but it became ever more predictable and and far fetched as the story went on. It did have some interesting bits and I didn't dislike the book, but there is much more the author could have done with the general story. However, good narration.

3 people found this helpful

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A prophetic tale!

An amazingly accurate description of life under lockdown with a grisly find and a dangerous investigation to give extra excitement. Had me in thrall from beginning to end, and I could listen to the narrators voice all day!

3 people found this helpful

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Even during a lockdown this is bunkum!

In the introduction to this book we’re told that this novel languished unpublished in May’s drawer because the publishers thought it too unbelievable.
Even as the UK experiences a second wave of coronavirus infections this book remains unbelievable.
The main characters’ immense physical stamina, psychological coldness and relentless determination to do their job - no matter what - stretches credibility beyond anything that 2020 has shown us can be true. Absolute bunkum (and not in a good way).

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent, Lockdown.

As I have come to expect from Peter May. Great storyline, couldn't put it down.. Sorry to finish. Brilliantly read by Peter Forbes. This book is definitely more than worth a listen.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lindsay S. Nixon
  • 14-05-20

Murder case not a “pandemic” story

This is not a pandemic novel, it is more of a murder mystery that takes place during a pandemic. In my opinion, the title is off and very misleading. I applied Peter May for envisioning the lockdown world we currently are living in back in 2005.

I bought this book to support his work after hearing his how this book was first rejected for being “unbelievable”.

As for the story itself, it’s barely 3 stars.

SUMMARY: London is on a lockdown because of the “flu” During “essential construction” workers find a bag of bones that belong to a child.

A police officer is called you investigate the crime. The bulk of the story is this guy figuring out who the child is and how the child died. It’s basically an episode of the old TV show “Bones”

No big surprise, the child’s death is related to the pandemic. The last 25% of the book *does* dig into the origins of the pandemic, but it’s the same, tired story that has been overdone in countless many movies. I found the wrap up rather boring and dull despite loads of contrived action.

The writing is also poor; many long winded confessional scenes 🙄🙄 there’s also a Jason Bourne type character that seems a bit beyond human realism.

Bottom line: I’m not necessarily glad I read it (I admit I probably only bought and read it because of the hype) and I’m not likely to recommend it to anyone. If I hadn’t been on a car ride with no other options or signal, I probably would have returned it

7 people found this helpful

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  • Laura FitzSimmons
  • 18-10-20

Cannot believe this is a Peter May story

Only got published because of our current pandemic.
Completely unbelievable plot. Went off the rails,
Well narrated though.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Diane Reynolds
  • 11-10-20

Vivid

A vivid portrayal of where we could easily have ended up this year. Even though it was written quite some time ago the situation is chillingly similar to covid! Complete with conspiracy theories, drug companies and military reactions to population control.

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  • LouA
  • 18-06-20

suspenful

Peter knows how to write a great story even if very eerie but I did not like the ending.

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  • RCH
  • 29-05-20

Incredibly timely ...

Incredibly timely story for these COVID-19 and CRISPR times. The events are dire and plausible. So glad that Peter May dusted off this unpublished manuscript from 2005 and released it to readers. Thoroughly engrossing. Full of twists and turns. A good read and listen.

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  • Nancy Lerandeau
  • 24-05-20

Timely and frightening

A tense, fast paced story of deceit, murder and, mostly greed. A new variant of bird flu is introduced into London by an innocent little Chinese girl. It's a bit contrived that the girl used is Chinese, especially considering the time we're living in. An enjoyable fast read.