Quercus to publish Peter May novel set in London pandemic lockdown

Quercus to publish Peter May novel set in London pandemic lockdown

Quercus imprint riverrun is rush publishing a book from Peter May he has been harbouring in his "bottom drawer" for the past 15 years—entitled Lockdown, it is set in London, against the background of a global pandemic that has put the city into lockdown.

May said: "When I originally wrote Lockdown in 2005, no matter how well researched or accurate the dystopian picture it painted, no one could identify with it. Now everyone can. It is our common experience. And isn’t that what writers are supposed to do—describe and explore the human condition, the world we experience as a human race?"

In the book, readers find DI Jack MacNeil on his last day at the Met: "His career is in ruins, his is marriage over and his own family is touched by the virus. Sinister forces are tracking his every move, prepared to kill again to conceal the truth. Which one will stop him first—the virus or the killers?"

Jon Riley, publisher, called it "a vintage Peter May crime novel", describing it as "ingenious, wonderfully researched on the medicine and science surrounding the transmission of a virus" as well as "chilling in describing its social consequences".

"When we were shown this novel only two weeks ago we realised we had to share it with Peter’s readers right away," said Riley. "The current situation around the world is unprecedented and as people struggle to comprehend and process it, many are being drawn to books and films that reflect these concerns, from Dean Koontz’s novel The Eyes of Darkness to Soderbergh’s Contagion. Lockdown is a crime thriller set in a world that we didn’t ever think would be recognizable."

The book is being rushed out in e-book on Thursday (2nd April) and in paperback at the end of the month.