Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “First To Die (Riley and Harris, #2)” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
First To Die
Alex Caan
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

First To Die

(Riley and Harris #2)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Bonfire Night and St James's Park is filled with thousands of Anonymous protesters in a stand-off with the police. When a cloaked, Guido Fawkes mask-wearing body is discovered the following morning, Zain Harris and Kate Riley are called in to investigate. The corpse has been eaten away by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus, resulting in enforced quarantine fo ...more
Audio CD
Published September 4th 2018 by Bolinda Audio
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about First To Die, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about First To Die

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  94 ratings  ·  43 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of First To Die (Riley and Harris, #2)
Louise Wilson
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Riley and Harris #2

Bonfire night and St James's Park is filled with thousands od Anonymous protesters in a stand-off with the police. When a cloaked Guido Fawkes mask-wearing body is discovered the following morning, Zain Harris and Kate Riley are called into investigate. The corpse has been eaten away by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus, resulting in enforced quarantine for anyone who came into contact with the body.

There is some graphic descriptions of victims faces and what fl
Angela Marsons
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m not ashamed to admit that I have begged, pleaded and threatened this author and his publisher for an early copy of this book. After reading Alex’s first novel, Cut to the Bone, I fell in love with the partnership of DCI Kate Riley and DS Zain Harris and this second outing cements their place as my favourite crime fighting duo. Both damaged and vulnerable but feisty and fierce too. As with the first book, the author researches his subject matter excellently. I love nothing more than to learn ...more
Last year one of the unexpected highlights was a book entitled Cut to the Bone. It was the debut crime novel by Alex Caan, cutting edge with its perceptive eye on social media. I was keen to read the follow up First to Die.

I read First to Die twice. This was because I found myself very confused. This is so unusual for me. Authors are normally much clearer in the way they write. There are massive faults with the story. It starts off as a fabulous read, as we return to the lives of Detective Sarge
I don't think I've ever read d crime thriller with a deadly virus at its core before. Not a believable one anyway. My goodness Alex Caan you write some dark stuff but I couldn't stop reading. This coming from me who finds an episode of 999What's your emergency a bit too much at times. There's some very graphic descriptions of faces not looking as they should, flesh eating bugs and what they can do...what happens at an autopsy and inside a hospital that looks to treat such diseases.

Kate and Zain
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
First To Die is Book 2 in the Riley and Harris Series. After a protest in St James Park on Bonfire night a body is found. The body is being eaten away by a virus - bit what is it and how many people are in danger?

This book is very graphic in its descriptions of the virus' and what they are doing to the bodies. Not for the faint hearted.

Thanks to Bonnier Zaffre and Netgalley for an advanced copy of the book to read in exchange for my honest opinions
Julie Lacey
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a 3.5 star read for me as it didn’t have me gripped as much as I thought it would.
A body is discovered following a protest in the park and Zain and Kate are called in to investigate. The corpse has been eaten away by a potentially lethal and highly contagious virus, resulting in enforced quarantine for anyone who came into contact with the body. This is Kate and Kapoor who was examining the body.
They are closely monitored and soon given the all clear but the experts are puzzled about
Rachel Gilbey
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
That was one intense book, I feel as though I have learned about far too about the incredibly scary world of biochemistry, and just what horrors could await the world if this was to become a reality. My head feels fried from the amount of information i have taken in, and its already been giving me bad dreams.

Yet I didn't find I was particularly hooked on this thriller, nor did I have any ideas where the investigation would take us.

I was though surprised when I referred back to the blurb after
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This edgy thriller is the second in the Riley and Zain series but works well as a stand-alone too.
Examining themes that are really up to date- think Russia and nerve agents on British soil- Alex Caan’s follow up book is every bit as good as the first.
During Bonfire Night in London, a dead body is discovered but it is difficult to work out how the person has died and when it is revealed that the deceased worked for the government it becomes a race against time to find the motive and modus operand
Natalie M
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second instalment in the series and it is just as good as the first. I do think it would read just as well without the background of #1 in the series.
This is a gripping biochemical thriller with themes of hatred, chauvinistic behaviour for which some may want vengeance, the power and influence of major corporations, and finally retribution.
The plot has some graphic elements but they work effectively into the development of the pace, which is sustained throughout. The characters range from th
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having read the first book with Kate and Zain, I was excited to be approved for an ARC of First to Die. Well this book was even better than the first, it was fast paced with a great story line and lots of twists and turns. I love the two main characters of Kate Reilly and Zain Harris, both and really felt protective towards them, wanting them to overcome their issues and hoping for a bit of romance!. This is one of those books that keeps you up reading it into the small hours.
Jacob Collins
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First To Die is a brilliant follow up to Cut to the Bone which I read and really enjoyed last year, so I was excited to see what Alex Caan would come up with next. It covers very topical issues and if you look back at recent news, you can see that the crimes explored here are certainly within the realms of possibility, which is what makes this idea so scary.

The main characters, Kate Riley and Zain Harris are really starting to grow on me; they are both different to each other and they come from
chevonne books
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was an amazing crime book. 

We follow a range of detectives as they get a case where the body they have found has died in a very unusual way. His brain melted out his body. 

After ruling out any contagious diseases they have to find out why and how he died and what melted his brain. 

They soon find our it was a nuerotixin that did this. SO they have to find who has this mutated form of nuerotoxin before anyone else is killed. 

As soon as they think they have found the killer, they either e
Hazel Tyson
I thought I was going to like this more than I actually did.
I found the story a little boring in places, especially with all the PCC this and DCI that, however there were elements of interest when the story line would pick up and become a little more action packed. There are other story lines running the background which allude to previous books and maybe future ones too. I preferred Zain's character as he seemed to be the more interesting participant, with his terrorist background. I find it h
The blurbs of these books honestly really hype them up, and psych you into reading them. The cover on this one is beautiful until you realise that it’s missing a question mark. The science was really the only thing that kept me going to be honest.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is more of a 2.5 Stars read but I was so disappointed that I have marked it down as a 2 Star in my notebook of doom (as the other half calls it).

The premise for the story itself is very good - a high ranking civil servant is found dead after a public demonstration in central London and the circumstances are very peculiar indeed. He has clearly been infected with something but will this pose a threat to the general public and can they even find out what caused his brain to melt and his body
Mary Picken
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Bio terrorism is certainly a deeply fearful, timely and relevant topic for today and in First To Die, Alex Caan has believably and chillingly created among the most awful of deadly killers I have come across.

It’s Bonfire night and in Westminster thousands of Anonymous supporters have gathered. All dressed in their trademark white Guy Fawkes masks and black cloaks. D.S. Zain Harris is among them, part of an undercover operation trying to spot serious troublemakers, but in truth he’s more on their
Gemma McGee

I was lucky enough to jump onto the First to Die Blog tour, when I read the book description I knew I wanted to read the book. I even bypassed my normal reading books in order to read this book first.
This is the first time I have read any books by Alex Caan So I thought I would give you little extra information.

Bonefire night in London is a busy night for the police, thousand of anonymous protestor have taken to the streets all the in the same Guy Fawkes costume, causing trouble where ever t ...more
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the body of a man is found the morning after a demonstration by a group of protesters known as Anonymous, Kate Riley and Zain Harris from the Police Crime Commissioner's Office are called in to investigate. Discovering that the body is covered in strange pustules, fear strikes when it is revealed that the man could be a victim of a lethal virus; potentially, anyone who has come into contact with the victim could be a carrier. The body is soon identified as that of a senior civil servant wit ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I grew up reading thrillers and crime books, it's a genre I can fly through and 'First to Die' definitely lived up to the expectations I have from this genre. It has twists and turns, great characters, and a deadly virus right at the centre of the story. You learn things as the characters do and it really keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering who is infected and what might happen to the characters that you become attached t
Victoria Goldman
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First to Die is the sequel to Alex Caan's Cut to the Bone, and you can't get more 'bang up to date' than this. Here you have a police team (and potentially the capital city) in crisis, with fears of a deadly virus on the loose. It's a race against the clock in case the killer strikes again.

Alex Caan has written a gripping, fast-paced crime thriller. He kept me guessing all the way through, as key characters (Kate and Zain) struggled to unravel the truth about who killed this senior civil servant
Elite Group
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why was this man poisoned? And will others follow?

On Guy Fawkes Night, a thousand anonymous protesters are in St. James’ Park in a stand-off with police. The next morning a cloaked man is found with horrendous pustules and his skin has been eaten away. Zain Harris and Kate Riley are called to investigate. A quarantine is set up as it is soon discovered that the man died from a potentially contagious virus.

The victim is a senior civil servant with a formidable reputation for bullying. Soon more p
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
First to Die a Crime Fiction novel by Alex Caan, which I absolutely adore, because it’s one of my favourite genres. This book is for fans of Stieg Larssons Millennium series and anyone after a good read with a killer premise.
The narrative follows two detectives, very much is a Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson style, of a Bonfire Night and a Park swarming with thousands of anonymous protesters in a stand off with the police.
When DCI Kate Riley (also I love when women are the detective or investig
Kerry Henderson
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
DCI Kate Riley and DS Zain Harris are investigating a gruesome murder that may be due to a contagious virus. Can they learn the truth before too many others die and does Kate have bigger worries at home.

This is book 2 in the series but don't think you need to read One to understand the story or the dynamics. It does however make me want to read One and of course the following book due to the ending. It does the the story up but leaves a few bits open to entice the reader to want to read the nex
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By kirstyk345

I really enjoyed the book! Great story with a plot very different to others I've read of a similar genre.

My one and only negative would be there were a lot of characters who I struggled to keep up with but the chilling storyline more than made up for this.

I had many theories in my head as to how the mysterious death of Mr Leakey may have beenough caused but the ending was not one of them which was good. He's found dead with large bubonic oozing blisters on his body with many peopl
Miki Jacobs
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story opens with an Anonymous protest in St James Park on Bonfire night. Most police personnel are on duty dealing with this. The following day a body is discovered dressed in the mask and cloak of Anonymous, Kate and Zain are called to investigate. Kate is dealing with the body with Dr Kapoor and something strange happens and they have to be quarantined until it is deemed uncontagious. Meanwhile Zain and the team are investigating the man who has died. Not all is rosy and it becomes apparen ...more
Jun 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
When I first saw the synopsis of First to Die, I immediately thought it sounded like a fantastic story that was somewhat fitting for the time we are living in, a time where biological terrorist threats are a morbid reality.

Sadly, I cannot help but feel that this novel just did not live up to its potential.

I tried reading the first few chapters but the style of writing was just too clinical for me. Clinical in that there was no emotion in the words and it seemed like everything was being spoon
Naturalbri (Bri Wignall)
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was so suspenseful and very well-written. The storyline is both intriguing and exciting, throughout. I also found there were a good deal of surprises or twists, but not over the top, and they all fit, once you thought about them.

The characters are created exceptionally well, bringing each one to life with their own characteristics and personalities. When you combine that with the world-building details, the book really made you feel like you were right there, part
Jenny L
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
A different storyline to the usual thriller/murder story, although it did feel as if I should have read Caan's first novel before this one - assuming of course this was a follow on with the same characters. It was certainly written as such, so if not, then that's just plain odd! Certainly a dramatic storyline with a core team of hard-bitten and hard-working police. Maybe a rather sudden end and rather an anti-climax with the reveal. But overall, a good read - a quick read for sure. ...more
Another fast-paced tale from an aspect I am unfamiliar with - synthetic viruses and the like. Lots of vaguely-understood (by me) details, plenty suspects and discussion as to who, where, when and why, plus interactions between DCI Riley and her team. Editing still a bit lacking in places and therefore conviction wavers but overall entertaining.
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks-read
I was really disappointed in this. I was looking forward to more of these characters and the first book was incredibly well plotted. The first half of this is pretty good, then it gets a bit weaker. And the conclusion really bothers me, I won’t spoil it but the reveal and how most of the characters react to it is problematic.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Female Man
  • Losing Game (The Winning Ace, #2)
  • Winning Ace (The Winning Ace, #1)
  • Grand Slam (The Winning Ace, #3)
  • Frog Music
  • Walkaway
  • A Far Cry from Kensington
  • Black Cat Bone: Poems
  • The Gods of Love
  • Forever and a Day
  • An Eye for an Eye (Detective Kate Young, #1)
  • Dogs of War (Dogs of War #1)
  • One Summer
  • Woman on the Edge of Time
  • The Ones You Trust
  • Sorrow and Bliss
  • Watching from the Dark (DCI Jonah Sheens, #2)
  • Still Life (Inspector Karen Pirie #6)
See similar books…
For fans of THE FALL, a slick, dark, contemporary THRILLER in the tradition of SARAH HILARY and ROBERT GALBRAITH that grips from the very first page.

What the reviews say:

'Told in an uncompromising way...a different book which is really refreshing.'

‘A very taut crime thriller…The story moves at a face pace, with lots of twists and turns. A dark edgy story for the current times of social media expl

Other books in the series

Riley and Harris (2 books)
  • Cut To The Bone (Riley and Harris, #1)

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
64 likes · 16 comments