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.
My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.