The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith

Exciting thriller with topical themes

My rating: 5 out of 5

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There has been an antibiotic crisis and many infections are now drug resistant.  If you are over 70 you are not offered medical drugs, just sent to The Waiting Rooms.    This is an exciting thriller set in drug resistant times. 

The Waiting RoomsIn the UK Kate starts to search for her birth mother, whilst working in her controversial area of nursing.  In Africa, where the story travels back to pre-antibiotic crisis time, Mary is searching for new plant based drugs.   Their two searches bring drama and suspense to this fast moving and  compelling novel.   

Last year I might have said this story was too futuristic for me.  However, having read it whilst in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, I found the book to be all too real.  Who receives the scarce antibiotic resources, and who does not?  Fear of catching, what are now, incurable infections, and how a simple day trip can become a life threatening event.  I was so involved in the “current day” action, that I’m sorry to say that I did fast read some of the pre-crisis scenes in Africa;  even so the book still deserves 5*s.

At the end of the book is a great short piece on the author’s inspiration for the book, plus even more detail on the author’s web page – which is worrying reading, but adds great background to the story. 

5*s from me, as this book gives a real insight into the near future.  Before the Covid-19 pandemic we  were already aware that antimicrobial resistance was becoming a problem, and this thriller provides plenty of thought provoking material about that.   Because of its themes it is a somewhat dark read, but with plenty of interesting details about what the future could (will?)  look like alongside an exciting storyline. 

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