A mysterious illness appears in Scotland while a reporter searches for the truth in this graphic novel by the bestselling author of the Karen Pirie series.
The first graphic novel from Britain’s “Queen of Crime” (Scotsman) and gorgeously illustrated by up-and-comer Kathryn Briggs, Resistance is a chilling but incredibly moving and inspiring story of individuals pressed to rise above their station, first to nail down the truth of a looming pandemic, and later to try to fight it.
Journalist Zoe Meadows has taken a break from hard-hitting investigative reporting to spend more time with her family, which is how she finds herself doing celebrity Q&As at an outdoor music festival near the Scottish border. She and her friends, who run a food truck, head north, along with 150,000 festivalgoers for a weekend of music and camping.
Then, some of the food truck’s customers begin to fall ill, and many point to food poisoning. But when the festival ends and the attendees scatter across England, more people begin to get sick and die. What’s worse, it is spreading fast and baffles doctors, resisting all efforts to contain or cure it. With time running out, Zoe is compelled to fight for the truth, even as she loses that which she holds most dear.
Praise for International #1 Bestselling Author Val McDermid
“Fascinating . . . Val McDermid is one of the most skilled of crime writers and she has gone a step beyond killing by writing with crisp authority on the facts that lie behind gruesome events.” —Washington Times on Forensics
“McDermid continues to dazzle us with the range and depth of her creative imagination.” —New York Times bestselling author Sara Paretsky
Scottish crime writer McDermid (the Tony Hill series) takes a stab at bio-noir in this spare but riveting graphic novel tracking a pandemic. Zoe, a dreadlocked freelance journalist, foreshadows "this was where the end began" from ground zero: A Northumberland music festival where tainted sausages may spell humanity's demise. Zoe tracks the bacterium from infected rock stars to the wider world "like ripples from a stone thrown into a pond" while trying to ignore the possibility that a friend may have been the cause. A less-developed secondary plot tracks Dr. Siddiqui, an infectious disease researcher muzzled by an arrogant, clueless bureaucracy, who provides Zoe with a handy "idiot's guide" to how greedy pharmaceutical companies and antibiotic-stuffed animals helped create a killer plague. McDermid rockets the catastrophe along as the mutating and species-jumping bacterium overwhelms a phlegmatic medical response. Briggs's grungy and off-kilter figures visually counterpoint the clinical plot, while her ashy charcoal backgrounds and faux-medieval frames suggest a cyclical human drama. Though missing the gravitas of recent disaster disease fiction like Lawrence Wright's The End of October, this chilling story may prove oddly comforting for Covid-era readers it's a glimpse of a far worse potential future.