Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Red Death” as Want to Read:
The Red Death
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Red Death

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  189 ratings  ·  28 reviews


A fast-paced, gripping thriller in the tradition of Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, and Dan Brown, The Red Death is a thriller fueled by the re-emergence of an ancient plague that gave rise to the Black Death--and the people trying to stop it. The question is: How do
Kindle Edition, 303 pages
Published September 25th 2018
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  189 ratings  ·  28 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Red Death
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well, this is a rather topical book, isn’t it? The premise of a pandemic threatening to sweep the globe… I’ve had this (shamefully) on my ‘To Be Read’ pile for long enough and wanted to use this book for my Book Bingo. I didn’t actually read the blurb and so, as I was starting the novel, found myself drawn to the realism and reflection of daily life. Quickly engrossed, I felt removed from what is happening today but at the same time, I had the sensation of watching our current virus spread…

P.S. Winn
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this story that is reminiscent of Cook or Crichton medical thriller. A plague from days past has returned to the present with a veracity no one expected. The author has a great writing style and has brought this tale to life with a tale that readers can enjoy.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copies
It's been a while since I've read a medical thriller and the premise of a plague gone loose hooked me at the start. I really liked the different point of views of various characters as they first encounter the plague and subsequently falls victim to the sickness. The writing is strong in this area, as each character comes from different backgrounds and living situations. A particularly notable character is Maggie, the Medical Examiner who tries to find the source of the plague while facing resis ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cases start emerging in NYC where the victims are dying of a bacteria similar to the Black Death of the Middle Ages. Only this pathogen is 100% fatal. The CDC investigates and find an ancient bacteria that one professor's career had been destroyed over when no one believed his findings. A search for a natural cure takes the Professor and a CDC researcher to the Amazon while the plague starts spreading quickly throughout the world.

The story is told by multiple POVs including some of the first pa
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
I will never look at money laying on the street the same way again!

This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I had a hard time putting it down. From following a coin and how it infected so many people and the path of several trying to pin down the cause, the source, and how to stop this plague from continuing.

There are a lot of details about bacterial plagues, the Amazon, and other technical things but that just adds to this story to have a better feel and understanding of what various organi
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
The premise of the story was intriguing, but the pacing was bogged down by unnecesary details and borderline pedantic descriptions of science basics.

My primary issue with the book were the sexist, homophobic, classist, and fat shaming elements to how characters were described or in the "thoughts" of the characters. There are ways to show an audience that a character is an a-hole without being homophobic and just because women are often written as ditzy in the wilderness doesn't mean they *have*
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers-adult
The Red Death is a thrilling tale of a deadly pandemic. The Red Death is caused by an unknown bacterium that caused an ancient pandemic before Pasteurella pestis and the Black Death, and now it has re-emerged in New York City. The Red Death causes hemorrhagic nodules in the lungs; its victims vomit blood as their lungs fill with it, and death follows within days of infection.Starting off with a few deaths, the story traces the spread and exponential growth of the epidemic.

The cast of characters
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
It had been a while since I read a pandemic novel. When I read the blurb for The Red Death, I was intrigued and was eager to read the book. I wasn’t let down. The Red Death was a fantastic book to read.

The plotlines for The Red Death were super fast. From the first point of infection to the end, the author didn’t let the pace falter. I was impressed that she was able to convey the desperation behind the actions of the main characters.

The author also did something that I rarely see most authors d
Anne Wingate
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I found this a better and more absorbing novel than more lucrative books written by better known writers on the same topic. We see what apparently is the zero case in New York. We see the pandemic spreading from city to city, state to state, nation to nation. We see the quarrels between agencies as to who is to do what to stop the spread. We see the search for a vaccine or a cure stalled by politics, even as victims ranging from vicious criminals to hard-working grandparents, from internat
Amy Ayers
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an exciting fast-paced read in the vein of some of the great medical thrillers written by Robin Cook and Michael Crichton. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy thrillers that you can't put down from start to finish.
Steve Stred
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **


In 1995, when I was 14, I went to the theatre and watched a movie called ‘Outbreak’ starring Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and a stellar supporting cast.

I knew it was an epidemic type movie, but that was it.

I don’t think I’ve ever left a theatre more frightened in my life. This was real-life horror, something that was tangible and could happen at any time.

Since then, one of my biggest fears has always been a plague outbreak. We’ve become su
Karen York-Fair
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a page turner!

From the very first chapter the author had me hooked. I like the way every other chapter kept track of what each character was doing. This book was very similar to the movie “Outbreak”, which I thought was very well done. I recommend this book.
Ann Titus
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Well written. Pulls you into a story of people, and life. Implores self exploration, and I once again need to think how man is destroying life. And I will continue to do what I can , and not add to the destruction.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With "The Red Death", author Birgitte Märgen crafts an engaging medical thriller, that does occasionally go a bit over-the-top; but I think that worked well here.

A hospital worker is on his way home when he sees a glistening coin near a pet store's dumpster. Shortly thereafter, the man dies and a janitor at the same hospital picks up the coin. He dies after coming in contact with the coin as well. As the coin continues to trade hands, the death toll quickly rises. Therefore, the CDC is called in
Becky Baldridge
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
It's been quite a while since I've read a medical thriller, but the premise for this one caught my attention. The story starts off with a thought-provoking idea of how the virus is spread from one person to the next, and I found myself pulled in to each victim's plight as they contract the virus without even suspecting. The idea is chilling, and I'll tell you, I'll never look at that seemingly innocent item the same way again. We also have Maggie, who tries in vain to get someone in authority to ...more
Tamara Morning
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Title: The Red Death
Author: Birgitte Märgen
Genre: Medical Thriller
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

It started with one death. Not much in the scheme of things. Not in New York City.
But one death leads to two, and what looks like unrelated deaths are linked by horrifying similarities: signs of the plague. The plague.

Maggie De Luca, an epidemiologist, is called in to investigate—and soon realizes she’s in over her head. Microbiologist Michael Harbinger sees the protentional for a global pandemic but thinks
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

The book starts by introducing us to Juan Martinez on August 18th, so I assumed he would be central to the story. But no, 3 days later he is dead. The autopsy reveals similarities to the bubonic plague, but again no, microbiologist Michael Harbinger discovers it is a new bacteria.

Meanwhile more deaths are occurring. The reader knows the connecting link between these people but Maggie De Luca, epidemiologist (no I didn’t k
Valerie - Cats Luv Coffee
As I've said before, my mom influenced my reading growing up. Being a fast reader, I read what was lying around. You could always guarantee that somewhere in our house was Robin Cook thriller — Outbreak being one of my favorites. As I've gotten older, I haven't lost my love for virology stories. For me, the horror of them lies in the ability for it to become truth. As advanced as our medical field is, there is still the ability for a lowly little microbe to not only triumph over us but to do wit ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
I honestly cannot remember the last time I read a medical thriller, so when the author of The Red Death asked if I would like to review their book I was keen to do so. The premise of a threatening plague intrigued me.

I liked the different points of view from the characters, following them from when they first encountered the plaque until ultimately their demise. There were many characters from different backgrounds and walks of life.

However, the plot disappointed me a little. The idea of the pla
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was disappointed in this book as the global scale virus I was expecting was isolated to individual characters. There's also a bizarre jaunt into the Amazon forest with a misogynistic technophobic scientist and a 'bimbo' bacteriologist who was a very disappointing female character.

Extract from my full review on

Red Death is a slow burn virus that looks too closely at individual cases and doesn’t grasp the global s
philip booth
Oct 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
Why did I bother to finish this book?

I started because I thought it might be a new take on the plague of mankind genre. Not so. It is completely formulaic and completely unbelievable. The sub plot in the Amazon borders on the ridiculous with our explorers miraculously saved from the cooking pot of one of the indigenous tribes Throw in a completely wet love interest in the jungle and you have all the ingredients of a third rate read. Here's hoping they don't think about making the movie.
Oct 13, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: ebook-own
Very disappointed in this. I was sent a copy of this by the author for an honest review. I was enjoying it a lot at first before I hit the fat shaming chapter. It’s so unnecessary. The woman’s weight has no bearing on the story, yet it’s shoved down our throats the entire chapter about her.
The sexism is also gross, and that’s where I just had to draw the line.
Did not finish so won’t be rating it.
Nikson Mathews
May 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was initially excited to read this. The concept was intriguing, but as I got into the book I was disappointed by the amount of bigotry, homophobia and sexism written into the the. In terms of story, there were a lot of holes and lazy writing featuring seeming insurmountable scenarios that conveniently worked out with little effort.
Dawn Meyer
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good quick read. I enjoy pandemic/dystopian fiction. Overall, I enjoyed the story however I felt the book changed pace at the end, wrapped up too quickly compared to the pacing of the original discovery and spread. A 400 page book masquerading as 300 pages. Still an enjoyable read.
Leona Clark
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting read. It has good suspense as well as science to it. I do recommend it to anyone.

I chose it because it caught my interest. I began reading and realized I had read it before. I liked it enough I kept reading anyways. 😊
Patricia Ash-Vildosola
Research awkwardly jammed into dialogue. Stereotypes. Not great.
Jaymee Turner
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Could have been better

The book was very predictable. The characters were not developed well and too much was crammed into too little. Needed more meat to it story was rushed.
Cherrie L. Wilson
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Solid read!
David d. Johnson
rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2020
Beth Tidman
rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2019
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Frozen Pandemic: Apocalypse
  • One Final Gasp
  • Scourge
  • DRYP: The Final Pandemic (DRYP Trilogy #1)
  • Virus Hunters 1 (Virus Hunters #1)
  • Rise (Rise #1)
  • The Siberian Incident
  • The Vermilion Strain : Post-Apocalyptic Extinction
  • Plague
  • We Who Remain
  • Infection (Sympatico Syndrome #1)
  • Shut In (Isolation #1)
  • Akureyri Gateway: Apocalypse Part II
  • End of Summer (Seasons of Man #1)
  • EDIT
  • Beginnings (Pandemic #1)
  • The Extinct - A Novel of Prehistoric Terror
See similar books…
Birgitte  Märgen is a groundbreaking author whose eclectic style of writing is known to cross over many genres. Whether she is writing about a serial killer, a pandemic, or mental illness, she tackles topics that are relevant today. Her books include the THE PVRITAN, the bone-chilling thriller The Red Death, and the gothic fairytale, Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore. She lives in the mo ...more

News & Interviews

You’d think that with, well, everything this year has had in store for us, readers would flock to sweet stories with happy endings. But as...
172 likes · 61 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »