Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Last High

The Last High by Daniel Kalla
Simon & Schuster: 5/12/20
eBook review copy; 320 pages 

The Last High by Daniel Kalla is a highly recommended thriller featuring a killer - the opioid crisis - and the search for the source.

Dr. Julie Rees, a toxicologist and ER doctor in Vancouver, is working the night that a group of six teens from a party arrive at the ER, four are dead and two are fighting for their lives. She clearly suspects that the deaths are due to an overdose of fentanyl. The question is how did all six overdose and could they have bought a batch that is deadly. Julie works with Detective Anson Chen to try and track down the dealer that sold the drugs to the teens. As they look at the known dealers and suppliers, more deaths are occurring. It seems that there is a truly deadly batch of drugs being sold on the streets that is now being labeled "the last high."

This is a well-written fast paced thriller that will hold your attention from beginning to end. Kalla, an ER doctor himself, takes the current opioid crisis and seamlessly weaves it into a shocking search for who is responsible while trying to get the drugs off the street to limit the number of deaths. Any medical information is presented in an easy to understand style and is all definitely part of the plot.  The focus of the action stays on the search for the drug and the mayhem it is causing, so there aren't a lot of side plots or distractions - unless you count the attraction between Julie and Anson, but this is while they are working the case.

Julie and Anson are well developed characters who are both dealing with some personal issues. They are attracted to each other and this comes out clearly in their work to track down the drugs. Personally, I could have done without the romance bit. I would rather have they continued to focus on their search for the suspects and just kept their mutual attraction there, in the background, as they worked.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

No comments: