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“A thrilling, front-line drama about the opioid crisis.”

Kathy Reichs

“Kalla has long had his stethoscope on the heartbeat of his times.… In his latest, the focus is on Vancouver’s opioid crisis.… [A] lively story.”

Toronto Star

“A riveting thriller.… This important, must-read book is not only well researched and entirely realistic, it gives a human face to a devastating epidemic.”

Robyn Harding, internationally bestselling author of The Arrangement and The Party

“Kalla is terrific at building suspense as the case progresses, uncovering a web of dealers, sellers, and users.”

The Globe and Mail

“A sobering glimpse into the drug overdose crisis.… An entertaining, if slightly eerie read.”

Vancouver Sun


“A fast-paced thriller with an historical overlay and a dash of romantic tension.”

Vancouver Sun

“A tightly plotted thriller, energetic and completely believable.”



“[Kalla] plunges us straight into the frenzied pace of the OR and [into] a medical drama that spans a hundred years. He’s a strong storyteller who keeps his characters moving and struggling, and we’re right there, struggling with them, rooting for them.”

Vancouver Sun


“Similar in many ways to Michael Crichton and even Dan Brown’s bestsellers, Cold Plague is testament to just how good commercial fiction can be: entertaining, informative, and downright fun.”

Winnipeg Free Press


“Kalla strikes again with another perfect page turner.”

Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author

“Fans of Presumed Innocent will find welcome echoes of that modern classic in Blood Lies.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)


“[Kalla’s] first novel, Pandemic, was as fine a medical thriller as I’ve ever read; his newest, Rage Therapy, is a taut psychological thriller that will pull you into a world of sexual deviancy, murder, and mind games. A very good read.”

Nelson DeMille, #1 New York Times bestselling author


“Daniel Kalla’s prescription for a perfect thriller includes snappy characters, a pace that sweeps up a reader, and not too much technical jargon.… The kind of magnetic story you can’t put down.”

Vancouver Province


“Kalla expertly weaves real science and medicine into a fast-paced, nightmarish thriller—a thriller all the more frightening because it could really happen.”

Tess Gerritsen, internationally bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles books

“Very much in the Michael Crichton school of cutting-edge scientifically rooted thrillers. Pandemic is an absorbing, compulsive thriller, the sort of book you could stay up too late reading.”

Vancouver Sun

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For my brothers, Tim and Tony


It was only a headache, Lilja Benediktsson reminds herself as she stands beside the gurney inside the chilly room. And Kristjan just couldn’t miss another day of school. The principal had been clear. One more infraction and her son would be suspended from the hockey team. Neither the team nor Kristjan could afford that.

Kristjan’s forehead hadn’t even felt warm to the touch. Why should Lilja have believed her son this time after all the other recent excuses and illnesses he had faked to avoid getting up on school days? Lilja hadn’t even bothered to call Dr. Tómasson. She could hear the old doctor’s stern voice in her head. “Two ibuprofens, a glass of juice, and then off to school. Don’t let the boy manipulate you, Lilja. Boundaries. You both need them.”

It had been a rocky eighteen months since Kristjan’s dad had walked out on them. At first, Lilja and her son had managed all right on their own. But then Kristjan’s grades began to drop, and he spent more and more time alone in his room, surfing the web while listening to that god-awful death-metal music. Lilja tried to reason with him, to explain that he risked his coveted position on the senior hockey team with his lackadaisical attitude. But the more she persisted, the more he withdrew. He used to be such a perfect child. Loving, happy, and outgoing. They were so close until his father left. Kristjan would tell her everything. But Lilja couldn’t reach her fifteen-year-old son anymore. In the end, she resorted to cutting off his Wi-Fi access. That didn’t work, either.

And now he’s gone.

It’s not the lattice-like rash crisscrossing Kristjan’s face or the bloody blisters scattered over his shoulders and neck that Lilja focuses on as she stares down at her son. What catches her attention is how his hands jut out from under the hem of the sheet, one on top of the other, as if clutching his chest. Kristjan would’ve been mortified to know how his hands were positioned.

Did I even say good-bye? Lilja wonders again as another tear falls and beads off the protective gown that hospital officials insisted she wear along with gloves and a mask.

Kristjan was too irritable to let her hug him as he stomped out the door earlier in the morning.

But I did say good-bye, didn’t I? I did tell him I loved him?

That’s the only thing that matters to Lilja now. Not that Kristjan passed away within two hours of reaching Reykjavík’s Children’s Hospital. Not that his school is closed for fear of further spread after two more classmates died. Not even the realization that she will never begin to fill the void that has been ripped through the fabric of her being.

Please God, tell me I said a proper good-bye.


They’re well dressed. Polite. Attentive. And like any good predators, they’re preparing to pounce.

Lisa Dyer read the mood in the packed auditorium the moment she stepped up to the lectern. She has been Seattle’s chief public health officer for only a few months, but Lisa understands these community health forums go with the territory. Usually, they’re stress-free events. Fun, even, in a

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