The first instalment of Terry’s newest trilogy Contagion takes the reader on a fast-paced journey through Scotland, from the isolated Shetland Institute to the idyllic village of Killin. It is in Killin that Shay first meets Kai. Shay was the last person to see Kai’s sister Callie alive before her mysterious disappearance a year ago. Now, as an inexplicable flu sweeps across Scotland leaving death and suffering in its wake, Shay and Kai must find Callie and stop this modern plague.
The author utilises dual points of view to offer alternative perspectives as the story develops. As the readers’ point of view changes at each chapter’s outset, multifaceted characters are created and the strengths and weaknesses of each are shown from all angles. Short chapters are a feature throughout the novel, enabling the reader to accelerate quickly through the plot. This can mean that, at times, the swapping of protagonist point of view can interrupt the flow of the story. For the most part, the dual protagonists are used to create tension, swapping from one to the other at a nail-biting moment.
As the story unfolds, important topics such as corporate responsibility and the pharmaceutical industry are explored; encouraging the reader to make connections between the text and the world around them. The final pages leave many unanswered questions, the second instalment can’t come quick enough.