What’s Ashley Reading?: The Drift

The Drift by C. J. Tudor

First line: A watch alarm was beeping.

Summary: Told through three people trying to survive a blizzard in the middle of a pandemic.

Hannah, wakes up after a bus accident. Several people are dead and the bus is stuck in a snow drift. She does not remember how they got here and she has to decide how to help the survivors escape alive. But it appears that the escape methods have been tampered with, leaving the occupants without many options.

Meg, finds herself with other volunteers for the trials, stranded on a cable car, suspended high above a forest in the middle of snow storm. One person has already been killed while they were sleeping so it appears that there is a killer among them. They must out who the killer is and hope they don’t kill again before rescue comes.

Carter has been living at the Retreat for three years helping to keep the place running. The Retreat was once a ski resort but has since been commissioned for scientific research to try and cure the pandemic that is ravaging the world. But as a storm moves in they are increasingly plagued by power outages which could lead to even more dire circumstances.

My Thoughts: I love C. J. Tudor. Her books are always lots of fun and a wild ride. I read a majority of this one in a weekend. I spent hours on the couch in between laundry, diving into the this story that at times felt very close to home. We have recently lived through and are still dealing with repercussions of the Covid pandemic. Each story gave new insights in to the lives of the population and the nature of the illness. It sounds terrifying and once again very similar.

There are a few twists and turns throughout which I really enjoyed. The big one is one I figured out about half way through, before the reveal. I was happy that I caught it but I don’t believe it spoiled anything. I think it made me look at everything closer and pay more attention. I highly recommend this quick read because it will keep you interested and on the edge of your seat. The only thing that would have made my reading experience better was actually having February weather rather than 60s to help set the atmosphere.

Book Thoughts from Mrs. Roberts: The Red Lotus

The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian

FIRST LINE: The opposite of a hospice? Not a maternity ward or a NICU. It’s a trick question.

SUMMARY: “A twisting story of love and deceit: an American man vanishes on a rural road in Vietnam, and his girlfriend, an emergency room doctor trained to ask questions, follows a path that leads her home to the very hospital where they met.” (New York Times)

The main character, Alexis, is an ER doctor who meets her boyfriend, Austin, for the first time in the emergency room on a Saturday night with a bullet wound. Austin also works at the hospital in the research department. Six months later the two of them take a bike tour to Vietnam where Austin wanted to pay respects to the place where his father and uncle fought in the war. Austin vanishes into thin air. The webs of deceit begin to unravel.

When Alexis returns home to the emergency room in New York, she is unsettled by Austin’s death. She becomes an amateur detective and recruits a private investigator/ex-cop to help her uncover many lies about Austin and the work he was involved in. Rat research labs are discovered in Alexis’ hospital and in Vietnam to create a species of rat that can carry the plague world-wide.

MY THOUGHTS: I wasn’t sure where the book was going after the first 100 pages. Then the twists and suspense began. I couldn’t believe I was reading a book about research being done to create a plague during this time of COVID. The development of the rat research is a big part of the story; but the story is also about friendship and the connections that people make with others.