Monday, February 26, 2018

The Poison People by Alex Makepeace

Release date: February 7, 2018
Subgenre: Dystopian, post-apocalyptic

About The Poison People


Are you one of them?

With a childhood full of secrets, Matt only wants to blend in. But when his university friends fall prey to a terrifying illness, he begins to realise how truly different, and dangerous, he really is. The disease spreads across the country and society disintegrates into fear and violence. The authorities are talking about terrorism, but Matt knows the truth, and it’s much, much worse. He goes on the run, joining others like him in their struggle to survive. But will it be at humanity’s expense? 

With mind-bending scenes of transformation and a story charged with moral ambiguity, The Poison People is a Jekyll and Hyde for our times.



Burning rubber, that’s how humans smell, like the odour that hangs in the air after a car has just skidded to a halt.
I try to breathe through my mouth but a cough catches at the back of my throat.
“That’s nasty,” says the man. “Hope it’s not catching.”
 I keep my hand clamped over my mouth until the fit subsides. I remove it and, careful to touch nothing else, bury it deep inside my pocket.
I said: hope it’s not catching.” The man looks at me askance. He’s not kidding. We live in troubled times. Danger these days can take many forms. He’ll have seen the headlines, heard the radio. He’ll be thinking: you never know quite who, or what, you might pick up these days.
“Nah,” I say. “Just the arse-end of a cold, nothing to worry about. But do you mind if I open the window?”
            “What? I smell or something?”
            Nothing personal, mate, you all do. Despite your Polo aftershave, your Lynx effect, or maybe because of it, people always have that burning rubber smell to me. In truth, it’s not just rubber, but that’s a convenient catch-all for the jumble of perfumes and polymers, synthetic fibres and accumulated soot, which remind me your typical self-styled human is maybe not so human after all.
            “Sorry,” I say. “Just a bit stuffy.”
            “Go on then.”
As I’m reaching for the handle, the man says, “What happened to your wrist?”
            I, too, notice the red rim beyond my sleeve. “Oh,” I say, thinking quickly. “Painting a mate’s house.”
            The man is about to say something else when the rain surges against the windscreen. We brake in a blur of rear lights, slow to a halt.
I breathe in the cool air. The man pulls out his phone, sends a message.
            At least it looks like he’s lost interest in me, which is a relief. What was it Magda said? “For a moment, I thought I might have to kill you.”
            I can’t help but smile. 
            The rain rushes against the side of the truck, leaks in through the window. The man gestures for me to wind it back up again.
            “Sorry, mate,” he says. “You’ll have to put up with my stink.”
            But I know it’s not just in my interest. If you knew what I was, you’d want the window wide open, come rain or shine. The pair of us would sit here drenched, if you knew the odds. Not that you’d have picked me up in the first place. Friend—you would have, you should have, speeded up. Called the cops, alerted the military. They’d have had their helicopter gunships out in no time, bearing down on me, all guns blazing, chewing up the pavement as I fled from the forces of righteousness.
            Because you never know who, or what, you might pick up these days.

Currently only 99 cents at | Amazon UK

About Alex Makepeace:

Alex Makepeace was raised in London and began his career as a journalist before moving into international aid and public health, where he learned that what might seem like a catastrophe to some is just another day at the office for others. That got him thinking, and that got him writing.


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