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Survivors of a global plague battle for life on an empty planet. A terrifying vision of a post-apocalyptic world...A virus has wiped out 95 per cent of the world's population in just a few weeks, leaving the remaining 5 per cent to stay alive in a world devoid of the most basic amenities - electricity, transport and medicine. The few survivors of the human race are forced to fall back on the most primitive skills in order to live and re-establish some semblance of law and order. Abby Grant, widowed by the plague, moves through this new dark age with determination, sustained by hope that her son, who fled his boarding school at the onset, has survived. She knows she must relearn the skills on which civilisation was built. With others, she founds a commune and the group return to the soil. But marauding bands threaten their existence. For Abby, there's a chance for a new life and love when she encounters James Garland, the fourteenth Earl of Woodhouse, who is engaged in a desperate fight to save his ancestral home. But more important, she must find her son.
and touched the wilted flowers in the vase on the side table. Petals showered off. Abby glanced at the big oval mirror above the fire-place. It reflected most of the room. It showed the couch and lying on it, the body of her husband. He lay on his side; his face towards the back of the couch. The lower part of his body was covered with a brightly coloured travelling rug. Abby pulled at his shoulder, turning him towards her. He twisted stiffly and, before she could hold him, slithered on to the
we going down there?’ ‘No. No, I actually live in somewhat more modest circumstances. That’s what my little war is about. The gentlemen we had the brush with have taken over Waterhouse. I’m disputing their right to stay there.’ They walked for some time with Garland leading along a winding route into a densely overgrown area. He held back some bushes for Abby to pass and directed her attention to the ground. ‘Careful here. There’s a trip wire. It’s rigged as an alarm.’ She stepped carefully
flights. Disturb them at roosting time by walking into the woods, and the clap of their wings was like a roar of thunderous applause. The cat-like mewing of the collared doves and the throaty call of the wood pigeon dominated the bird song that filled the days. There was little respite from the grindingly hard work of farming. The days drifted unnoticed into July. Since planting time there had been only two forays out of the village, made on both occasions by Greg and Philip. They badly needed
travel like refugees, pushing handcart and prams, but this would make the journey long and slow, particularly with a pregnant woman and two small children. Finally, they decided that the Land Rover would tow the trailer and carry as many as possible. The others would cycle. In that way, the petrol would be used most economically and the heavy load easily transported. They allowed themselves a month for preparation but were ready a fortnight before the date set for departure. They filled in a
evening I’ll come around.’ Jenny was disappointed. She felt she had in some way failed Pat. Perhaps she had not made it clear just how sick her flatmate really was. Had she made it sound more urgent then Michael might have come back with her at once. Michael touched her shoulder. A farewell gesture. ‘I promise. I’ll be there first chance I get.’ Jenny didn’t move. He edged towards the doorway. She watched him. He put out his hand to push the door and then halted and turned to face her again.