First of all, I have to say I’m seeing more and more covers by May Dawney and it makes me happy because, seriously, how gorgeous is this cover? And it’s perfect for the story, too.
I read (and loved) Zoe Reed’s Charon Docks at Daylight not long ago. When I began reading In Dyer Need, CDAD immediately came to mind as the story Claire Highton-Stevenson tells could be what happened right before. Some terrorist group has poisoned a large part of the world population with a drug that makes humans turn into mindless beasts, whose only purpose is to kill others. Representatives from various governments are about to meet in London to try and deal with the situation when all hell breaks loose and they have to be evacuated. Andrea Fielding, British Home Secretary, ends up fleeing with the head of her security team Ren Dyer, another agent, the Dutch Home Secretary – who is also her former lover – and her assistant. As the five of them try to cross the country to get to some place safe, they all get to know one another (and a few others they meet on the way).
Given the premise, it won’t come as much of a surprise that this first chapter of a two-part series is at times quite gory but never gratuitously so. In Dyer Need moves at a very exciting pace, with some action and a few scary moments, but it’s also a romance, as Andi and Ren start falling in love in the middle of the apocalypse. The chemistry between the two women isn’t obvious at first, yet when it starts coming out, it’s full on. Besides the pace of the book, one of the things I liked best was how well-developped most of the characters were, from the small group accompanying Andi and Ren to the people they encounter on their journey. And I can’t really write about it without spoiling, but Andi comes up with a rather brilliant idea toward the end that only makes me want to read the second part even more.
Also, this was the first time I acted as beta reader. I’ve been the “fresh set of eyes” a few times before, for translations, but usually for books I’d already read in English, and I’ve given advice to a couple of authors on French language and sentence structure here and there. So, this was new. And an interesting experience.