Songs by Dead Girls (Health of Strangers, #2)

Songs by Dead Girls (Health of Strangers, #2) I hadn t read the first book in this series, something I will rectify, as Songs By Dead Girls was an energetic and entertaining read with some cracking dialogue and brilliantly divisive characters.The Health Enforcement Team, set up after a virus ravaged Britain, is supposed to look out for those avoiding testing all privileges and social structure works around how healthy you are so when the top virologist goes missing shortly before he is due to have his regular check up, there is a scramble to track him down Difficult for Mona and co in this case as it is a secret mission which leads to some interesting events This novel is pacy and considered, with an extremely intriguing premise and executed with flair and attention to detail in both character and world building It fairly rocks along, is randomly very hilarious especially considering the dark subject matter and it is an extremely addictive read that I devoured in short order.It s lovely to find something a bit different, a dystopian crime thriller where your monthly check up defines your whole existence and there s no missing that appointment The duo of Mona and Paterson is a dynamic one, loved them, loved this and I ve found a new series to follow along with.Recommended. Well I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with the Health Enforcement Team again in this second Health of Strangers novel In case you haven t read the first one and it s only 1 for Kindle at the time of writing so get yourself a copy you need to know that a virus has spread worldwide, a virus which is killing many of people who contract it In an effort to contain it, all kinds of regulations have been put in place including the need for people to carry a Green Card Without the card, you can t access vital services, enter buildings or even buy food To get the Green Card you must attend regular monthly health checks Miss your check and you will find yourself labelled a defaulter and can expect a visit from the Health Enforcement Team.In this book, Mona and Paterson aka the Guv are on an under the radar mission in London tracking down a leading virologist who is rather surprisingly at risk of missing his health check Meanwhile back in Edinburgh, Bernard is reluctantly under the temporary command of Maitland and with partner Carole is looking for a missing girl who it seems may be a prostitute Throw in a drug dealer who may have connections to the missing girl and who is looking to expand his empire and the scene is set for adventures for the HET, perhaps rather excitement than they would like.What I enjoyed most about this book, as with the first, is the banter between the characters Despite the sometimes difficult situations they find themselves in, real danger at times, there is always an undercurrent of dry humour The story alternates between the action in Edinburgh with Bernard and the investigation in London with Mona I have to say that Lesley Kelly has done a brilliant job of creating mini cliffhangers throughout the book so that each chapter ended with me wanting to know what happens next but having to wait until the next part about those characters It s quite a skill to be able to keep that up throughout an entire novel I feel It was good to get of a feel for the characters outwith their working lives too and I particularly liked the scenes with Mona and her mum which were down to earth yet tender Bernard is someone I feel sorry for and am fond of in equal measure as he goes about his work conscientiously but despondently, knowing how disliked he and his co workers are And special mention must also go to Theresa, the Professor s assistant, also known as Maggie She is a brilliant addition to this book and although I suspect we might not see her again, I harbour a hope that we might.Songs by Dead Girls is a thoroughly entertaining read which rattles along at a lively pace It s witty and full of brilliant characters you will both love and love to hate A sneak preview at the end of the book has me looking forward to the third book in the series Death at the Plague Museum and catching up with Bernard, Mona et al very soon. I hadn t read the first book in this series but soon got to know what was going on A killer pandemic virus had resulted in hefty regulations being enforced which restricted people s movements and activities To ensure that the virus had less chance of spreading, everyone had to have monthly checks to confirm they were not infected If they were cleared then they were given a green card Without the green card they couldn t literally go anywhere, buy food or work If anyone missed their monthly check the Health Enforcement Team HET were sent in People that had survived the virus or were immune, had freedom and potentially better jobs.Now this all sounds pretty serious stuff but believe me it is just pure full on entertaining magic No matter who they were everyone had to be tested, including the worlds leading virologist that has apparently gone missing Now this really causes panic and so an under cover mission is put into action to find him, before his rapidly approaching test day arrives and the press find out.Now I am giggling just writing this because it is such a covert operation that the rest of the HET don t know that it taking place The hapless pair, Mona and Patterson, were both thought to be on leave but just hadn t a clue what they are getting into and the decision to leave Bernard in charge of a very disgruntled Maitland and poor Carole makes it pure joy for anyone reading this book.The story bounces with energy between both camps with two very different story lines, each just sheer brilliance It isn t just the dry wit and humour that flies between characters that make it awesome it is the descriptions of situations that the author injects too She really didn t give me chance to catch my breath Just loved the whole thing As if this story isn t already bursting with action the main characters personal lives also play a major role too Poor Maitland I really did feel for him but my favourite pair has to be Bernard and Maitland It is like play ground tit for tat.A brilliant book I very highly recommend My only regret is not reading the first book in this series but something that I will definitely do very soon. Charmingly written with wit and humour Very entertaining storyline with an escapade down to London by an unlikely trio Great fun with real drama. Bernard Wrenched Open The Door And Ran Back Out To Carole, Horrified To See Her Face Was Pouring With Blood A Deadly Virus A Missing Academic With A Head Full Of Secrets That Could Embarrass The Government A Prostitute On The Run And A Music Loving Drug Baron Who Needs A FavourAll In A Day S Work For The North Edinburgh Health Enforcement Team Songs By Dead Girls takes the reader back to Lesley Kelly s virus riddled depiction of Edinburgh first encountered in the fabulous The Health of Strangers I was a huge fan of THoS when I read it last year my review is here so I was delighted to hear Lesley was re visiting the dystopian world she had created.Life in Edinburgh is not too dissimilar to our reality, but a terrible virus has had devastating impact upon the population and regular health screenings are required to ensure everyone remains virus free The HET guys are tasked with ensuring people attend their screenings and chasing down potential defaulters Songs By Dead Girls they face a significant challenge as the primary expert on the virus has vanished just ahead of his scheduled check up He is due to make a presentation to the Scottish Parliament so his absence will soon be noticed can the HET track down their missing expert without the media finding out what they are up to The constant threat of the virus hangs over all characters but it is fascinating to see people adapting quickly and viewing the danger as a frustration totally believable The story balances the HET duties and responsibilities with their family personal lives too These away from work scenes make the characters come to life for me, they are than the day job and they have loved ones, problems and loneliness to contend with too that engagement and buy in will keep me returning for pages, another chapter.Songs By Dead Girls was a brilliant read It was fun, suitably puzzling, had several engaging plot threads which kept my attention and I love the dysfunctional HET family they range from competent to bonkers and are so entertaining Following their growth and development over the two books has been a treat and now that I know there is scope for HET stories I really hope that this will happen please.If you enjoy a twisty thriller with engaging characters then Songs By Dead Girls is an absolute must read I love this twisted world that Lesley Kelly has created and she delivers the fun along while also keeping an undercurrent of danger for her wonderful cast. A deadly pandemic has affected much of the population and in order to control the spread of this deadly virus, Health Enforcement Teams are employed to make sure that people attend a monthly health check These stringent regulations are essential if the virus is to be contained and those who skip the test are hunted down.The North Edinburgh Enforcement Team is on the case of two people who have flaunted these regulations The investigative skills of HET operatives, Mona and Paterson, are needed in order to find the whereabouts of a leading academic who is about to miss his monthly check up Their undercover investigation takes them to London, where they encounter all sorts of problems Meanwhile back in Scotland, the HET are on the trail of a missing prostitute, who may have links with the darker side Edinburgh life.This is a really interesting premise for a story I especially enjoyed the dystopian feel to the narrative, particularly around the Orwellian tactics used against those individuals who missed their monthly check ups The double mysteries at the centre of the story are well plotted and I enjoyed the fast pace of the novel and allowing two different sides to the story, one in London, and the other in Edinburgh, adds an interesting dynamic.Songs by Dead Girls is now the second book in the Health of Strangers series and even though I haven t read the first book, I was soon able to pick up the story and could follow the background reasonably well, although it took me a little while to get to understand the quirks of the central characters The North Edinburgh Enforcement Team are an odd bunch of characters, however, their lively wit and petty squabbles add an interesting dynamic to what is potentially, a dark and rather sinister working environment That they continue to survive and thrive in this setting is testament to the author s skill in bringing this dystopian world to life in a lively and entertaining way. When I find a new author I like, I have a bad habit of reading several books by them in a row By the time I m halfway through the third, I m usually getting bored I m delighted to say that hasn t happened with Lesley Kelly s Health of Strangers series I ve now read book 1, book 1.5 a novella and book 2 This one, book 2, was the funniest and most entertaining so far It also contained the darkest story to date drugs, prostitution, gangster wars and political conspiracy Our trusty sleuths at North Edinburgh s Health Enforcement Team split into two sub teams to track down two defaulters who ve missed their compulsory health checks during the deadly virus pandemic that s hit Britain.Hapless health promotion officer Bernard, homely ex nurse Carole and too big for his boots ex cop Maitland are on the trail of a young woman using a fake identity A straightforward find and retrieve task soon turns very murky.Meanwhile boss of the office Peterson and his most competent colleague Mona are sent on a hush hush mission to London to find a top Scottish virus expert who has suddenly disappeared ahead of his own health check Peterson and Mona are ex cops or are they only seconded to HET for the duration of the virus, they don t seem entirely sure They aren t speaking to each other because of the fallout from their previous case, but they soon have to put their differences aside when they and the missing professor find themselves in danger from an unknown enemy.Book 3 is now winking at me from my kindle. This is the second book in the Health of Strangers series by Lesley Kelly The North Edinburgh Health Enforcement Team, consisting of seconded police staff and health service staff, continue their fight against, the virus, a mutant strain of influenza, by tracking down anyone who has missed their monthly health check.There are two main parts to this story In Edinburgh, Bernard and Carole try to locate Alessandra Barr, a twenty five year old prostitute who has missed her monthly health check three days ago Meanwhile two other members of the team, Mona and Paterson have been sent to London to try to track down an eminent professor of virology who has gone missing, as the date of his next health check approaches.This story is fast moving and full of energy Both the work lives and the personal lives of the characters are colourful and entertaining at times There is a certain amount of humour throughout the book and Lesley Kelly delivers a story that keeps the reader hooked.I am looking forward to the next novel in this series Death at the Plague Museum I can see this series running for many books to come. A missing expert on viruses causes issues for health enforcement officers.The basic idea for the story was good, but the constant chopping between characters was confusing and the writing could have been tighter.Overall rating 2.5

Lesley has worked in the public and voluntary sector for the past twenty years, dabbling in poetry and stand up comedy along the way She has won a number of writing competitions, including the Scotsman s Short Story award in 2008 A Fine House in Trinity was long listed for the McIlvanney Award for the best Scottish crime novel in 2016.Her next novel, The Health of Strangers will be published

[BOOKS] ⚣ Songs by Dead Girls (Health of Strangers, #2)  By Lesley  Kelly –
  • Paperback
  • 352 pages
  • Songs by Dead Girls (Health of Strangers, #2)
  • Lesley Kelly
  • 06 March 2019
  • 9781912240081

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