The Last High

The Last High

A Thriller

Book - 2020
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"One night, Dr. Julie Rees is stunned when the emergency room she works at is flooded with teenagers suffering from life-threathening drug overdoses. The patients were all at the same party, and Julie soon recognizes that these aren't typical cases. So does Detective Anson Chen, assigned to investigate what happened. Julie, who is also a toxicologist, suspects the teens took-- or were given-- fentanyl or a fentanyl derivative. But why did they succumb so quickly? Julie and Anson begin to try to track down whoever supplied the drugs. But when other people with the same disturbing overdose symptoms begin showing up in the ER-- and the morgue-- Julie starts to realize that something extremely disturbing is happening on the streets of Vancouver."--
Publisher: Toronto :, Simon and Schuster,, 2020
Edition: Simon & Schuster Canada edition
Description: 308 pages ; 23 cm
ISBN: 9781501196980
Branch Call Number: Kall


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Nov 12, 2020

The Last High is all about the battle to save drug users in spite of themselves, about the work done by various agencies like the Vancouver Police Department and Poison Control. Since the author works in Vancouver, BC where this book takes place, it's not hard to imagine where exactly everything takes place. The book is current - fentanyl has become a big problem on the Downtown East Side. Users never know exactly what they are getting when they buy heroin or crack or meth or some opioid - it all depends upon the cook and what materials are available. Each batch is different. The book describes who is at the top of things: the Triads, Persians (covering Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc), the (East) Indians, Pakistani, etc. etc. Then there are the cooks, the dealers, etc. This book brings everything to life. I will be reading this again just to get all of the details straight.

STPL_JessH Oct 10, 2020

I am always so grateful when authors write with grace and compassion about people. Period. I am especially grateful when that compassion and grace is directed toward people living with addiction. There is more than enough judgment and shame thrown around any discussion of substance use and we certainly do not need that duplicated in novels. Instead of repeating damaging stereotypes, Daniel Kalla demonstrates the range of people who may find themselves at risk of overdosing. For some readers, this may be a surprise. For others, it will be the representation we so need in fiction today.

While a book like The Last High could easily traverse into heavy-handed didacticism, Kalla finds the balance between revelation and restraint. I really enjoyed this story. It is a fast-paced thriller with a wonderfully diverse cast of characters. The audiobook was especially well done so if you can, listen to it!

Oct 01, 2020

His main characters are well-flashed out, his plot timely to the point that is almost viewing a live news story about the ongoing opioid crisis on the 6 o’clock news. As a medical professional he explains the medical procedures/language included in the story in very easy layman’s terms.

This book is a fast-paced gritty tale which focuses on the true faces of the victims and those who care about them come to life. This gripping nightmare is real and ongoing and while told as fiction, is like looking through a mirror and seeing both the worst and best of mankind.

debwalker Sep 11, 2020

The deadly fentanyl pandemic continues, oblivious to COVID. By the head of emergency at St. Paul's in Vancouver.

Feb 27, 2020

My first experience with this author won't be my last! A medical thriller written by a Canadian doctor and set in Vancouver BC Canada.

The opioid epidemic floods the ER of a Vancouver hospital dragging Dr. Julie Rees into tragic flashbacks. Working along with Det. Anson Chen of the Vancouver Police Department, Julie's toxicology knowledge helps trace back a batch of fentanal that is so powerful it leaves user dead in minutes.

The characters are well developed, the plot a steady flow of medical procedures, the police investigation intriguing, and a developing romance to round out all of the emotional aspects.

Only one '"unable to believe this' part" is breastfeeding right after heart transplant surgery. I enjoyed the tour of Vancouver - brought back a lot of good memories.

I volunteered to read an ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada through Net Galley
Release date May 12, 2020.

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