'Maxwell's Zoom' by M. J. Trow
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Book twenty-one in the Mad Max series.
When asked about when it all began, Peter Maxwell would always say that it was at breakfast one day, when his son said, ‘It says in the news that bats are giving people colds.’ At that point, that was all anyone thought, if they thought anything at all. Nolan was worried about the Count and Bismarck but of course, as everyone would soon know, it was more than that – much more.
What was perhaps not quite so obvious as the world started to pull together to halt the spread of the pandemic, was that it would also restart a killing spree, one that had been halted for decades. Old memories rising to the surface, old enmities and slights recalled and suddenly, in masked and socially distanced Leighford someone is prowling with a hammer raised to create mayhem.
The police are run off their feet, seeking out infringements which only weeks before no one would have ever thought possible. As an historian, Maxwell is keeping his head while most people are running round like chickens minus theirs – loss and tragedy stalk the land, closer to home than anyone thought possible. In a world where death is striking everywhere, how can anyone hope to bring a murderer to book?