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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Deep within the Arctic Circle, three environmental scientists from the UK's Arctic Research Station trudge through a blizzard landscape in search of shelter. There's a cabin ahead. It appears abandoned. No lights or tell-tale smoke. No snowmobile parked outside.

The first thing the team's medic, Dr Sheila Mackenzie, notices when she enters is the smell. It's rank, rotting, foetid. Then suddenly there's movement.

A figure, barely recognisable as human, lies slumped on a sofa, his face staring back at her in the torchlight. It's hideously disfigured by livid pustules, rivulets of blood run from his nostrils, his chest covered in black bile. Momentarily Dr Mackenzie can't comprehend what she's seeing. Then the alarm bells begin to ring. These are the signs of chronic, deadly infection....

But the man is trying to say something. She edges closer to him and it's then that the convulsions begin. His body erupts into a violent fit of coughing, spewing out a toxic cocktail of blood, bile and mucus....

Dr Mackenzie already knows it's too late. She is contaminated....

Setting in train a terrifying chain of events that threatens millions with a deadly, man-made contagion.... 

And so begins Frank Gardner's gripping new thriller, with troubled MI6 Operative Luke Carlton in pursuit of an extraordinary conspiracy - and a weapon more gruesome than anything the world has seen....

©2021 Frank Gardner (P)2021 Penguin Audio

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What listeners say about Outbreak

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I was enthralled from the title to the end!

Another excellent book by Frank Gardner - I have now read his first novel (about Columbian drug cartels) and his third (Outbreak) a‘Luke Carlton’ novels - couldn’t seem to get into the second one (Afghanistan) and had to return it. Luke Carlton is a continuing character but there is no repetition in themes of these books. Frank Gardner, BBC’s Security Correspondent is so well travelled and the different locations lead to totally different story lines, with Luke being the one recurrent familiarity. The narration by Johnathan Keeble is superb, suits the story and characters perfectly.

I had this on pre-oder and was desperately waiting in anticipation of its release. Set in 2022 it is very current, and given that we are all very familiar with the current Covid19 situation it doesn’t require much imagination to realise this ‘Outbreak’ could be just around the corner, The story line trundles along at quite a pace, and I was glad I had read the first book so I was well familiarised with the background to the main characters - although the book does stand well on its own without this advanced knowledge - it just made it more enjoyable.

As for that ending....... well I am not sure what to make of that and have fingers crossed Frank will produce a fourth Luke Carlton book??

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant

The 3rd in the series and best. Good story line as usual from FG and excellent narration which makes the whole story come to life.
A sinister believability tale that could certainly happen in real life the way things are heading in the world.

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Formulaic, unoriginal & ridiculous

This book is hugely disappointing and a total waste of a credit. I was hoping for something clever and intriguing, hoping for something new in a full genre. However this was not the case. The characters are one dimensional and every aspect of the plot is well worn. It also suffers from a lack of identity - is it a spy book or an outbreak book? It fails on both counts. The whole thing is so basic that I agree with a previous review that it feels like a young person's novel apart from some of the more graphic aspects. Jonathan Keeble, usually a good narrator, was also below his best, it felt as if he were as bored as me. I didn't finish listening to this. A huge disappointment all round.

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    3 out of 5 stars

If you love Le Carré you’ll hate this.

More like a young adults book than something for grown ups. Boring simplistic and unbelievable.

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Best Luke Carlton book to date

Enjoyed the first two books, this is so much better though. Really strong story and clear that Frank knows the “spook” world

Hope there is more to come

As always Mr Keeble is a brilliant narrator

5 stars all round

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Brilliant

Not usually.my type of read but I was totally absorbed. The reader was absolutely brilliant.

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Outbreak

Exceptional story. I was totally gripped from beginning to end. Well written. couldn't put it down.

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Big disappointment.

Gushing, schoolboy stuff. Heroic choirboy meets Russian baddies. Made much worse by Jonathan Keeble’s breathless performance.

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Loved it!

Well that’s a bit of a cliff-hanger isn’t Frank!? I hope you’re well under way with the next one. On tenterhooks! But seriously though - enjoyed every minute.

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  • mr
  • 30-05-21

Awful

The writer is no Steven Leather
A quite comical work with an unbelievable story I kept reading unusually for me for the comedic writing
Mr Keeble is a great narrator wasted on this audio book