Lockdown. Well you couldn’t make it up. This is a first for me, four books, same title and a sore subject, generally speaking…..then again, they weren’t all quite what I was expecting or what you might think.
Along with covers, judging a book by its title can be pretty hit and miss, though I’ve struck lucky with some beautiful covers in the past.
I’m probably revealing a few spoilers below, but not enough to give the whole game away. So in no particular order:
1. Lockdown by Peter May
Set in the thick of a global flu pandemic, survival rates are not good and London is in complete lockdown.
No movement or transport, just stillness with the military stationed at various checkpoints. Even newspapers are out of print for fear of virus spread. There are no flights in or out of the UK, streets are ghost towns, and many buildings are burnt out following civil unrest.
It’s worth pointing out (just in case you’re pondering on the irony of it all), that despite being published in good old 2020, the book was actually written in 2005 apparently, but May struggled to find a publisher.
Anyway – the story centres around the race to solve a murder case, which turns out to be at the very root of the origins of the flu virus. Money and greed also have a strong hand to play.
Spoiler: If you’ve read the book you’ll know the ending was a bit strange – did Pinkie jump? I’m guessing MacNeil was able to get hold of some flu pills for that tickle in his throat once he managed to get down from that wheel (and get Amy down too)….who knows.
Verdict: this was an ok read, more intriguing than it would be if we hadn’t been through lockdowns of our own – I think that’s what keeps the curiosity going with this one, but I wouldn’t put it on my highly recommended list.
2. Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
This one has nothing to do with pandemics or a virus. It’s a funny one, not funny ‘ha ha’ more funny weird. You’ll see what I mean at the beginning of the book when the boys encounter the men in black suits in the house they tried to burgle – are they even men, or some kind of other beings???
I wouldn’t ordinarily seek out sci-fi/horror books so I was getting that ‘oh no’ feeling very early on, but persevered. This one was a bit of a horror/sci-fi mystery combined.
🤔 There’s this prison called Furnace, that sounds like the pit of Mordor deep underground – criminals are taken there, rejected by society. In this case the criminals are children, and not all of them have actually committed a crime. It’s some sort of stitch up to traffic children to their peril. But why, what’s the point?
Spoiler: Those strange men in suits are in on it too, along with mutant dogs, mutant inmates, sadistic guards, and rival inmates.
I know. This is all sounding a bit too weird. The only clue to this weirdness was the fact that the prison is supposedly much much worse than just a prison – well they weren’t wrong. Not what I was expecting after a hasty online purchase. That’ll teach me. It sounded reasonably non-horror/sci fi from the synopsis, but there you go. I doubt I’ll be keeping this one.
Verdict: Despite this not being my cup of tea initially, I now feel obliged to read the other books in the series (this is the first one) to see what happens next and also see if there are any interesting twists and conclusions to the whole weird saga.
3. Lockdown by Sean Black
What’s in a name? Well the key character in the book is Ryan Lock – I’m guessing this is what inspired the book title given the role he plays. Lock is on a mission to find a missing child, playing detective amid corporate corruption with animal rights activist connections. Lock blows the lid on a sinister operation taking place within a biotech company…the root of it all.
Half way through the book I felt like it was an interesting story, worth pursuing to the end but there wasn’t much in the way of thrills or twists in the tale.
A few gory bits toward the end.
Verdict: it’s a bit like a film I wouldn’t want to watch twice, it was interesting enough to keep me watching, but once was enough.
4. Lockdown: Inside Brazil’s Most Dangerous Prison by Drauzio Varella
Coincidently, another book about a prison, a real life prison in Brazil – through the eyes of a doctor who worked there.
Many years ago I remember reading another book about a prison in Bangkok, Thailand – that was really interesting, I might read it again and do a review.
Unfortunately this Brazilian one didn’t really keep me interested, despite the enticing title. Maybe if you’re particularly curious about prisons or prisons in Brazil you might like this one.
More book reviews to come….