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The plague has hit Italy. Can Dr. Alana Vaughn find the source in time to save the world?

No person is left unscathed, no family untouched. Death grows insatiable.

Alana Vaughn, an infectious diseases expert with NATO, is urgently summoned to Genoa by an ex-lover to examine a critically ill patient. She’s stunned to discover that the illness is a recurrence of the Black Death. Alana soon suspects bioterrorism, but her WHO counterpart, Byron Menke, disagrees. In their desperate hunt to track down Patient Zero, they stumble across an 800-year-old monastery and a medieval journal that might hold the secret to the present-day outbreak. With the lethal disease spreading fast and no end in sight, it’s a race against time to uncover the truth before millions die.

Author Daniel Kalla shared some insight with The Big Thrill about his 10th novel WE ALL FALL DOWN:

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

Everything surprised me. I had no idea how the Black Death transformed medieval society, introducing genocide and the flagellants, on one hand, and eventually leading to workers’ empowerment on the other extreme.

Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?

The plot. For me, the nutshell premise always precedes the rest of the process. in this case, it was: “What if the Black Death recurred today? And it took a secret from the past to stop it from going global?” However, it’s the characters that make the story.

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

I’ve always been a massive fan of the global thriller. Since I’m a physician by training, it’s easiest for me to write medical thrillers. But underneath that medical veneer, my stories are usually geopolitical thrillers.

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

The research… And the research. To understand the Black Death and the world transformative impact it had 700 years ago—including, by the way, ushering in the Renaissance—and how it might impact the planet if it recurred took a considerable amount of research. But I love it. Especially the tax-free Italian trip!

What’s the one question you wish someone would ask you about this book, or your work in general?

I always get asked: where do you find the time to balance a medical and writing career? But I would prefer to be asked: how does one career inspire the other? There really is so much synergy between the careers.


Born, raised, and still residing in Vancouver, Daniel spends his days (and sometimes nights) working as an emergency room physician in a major teaching hospital. In his “off’ time,” he writes and manages a dual career. He is the author of 10 books, which have been translated into 11 languages to date, and his Shanghai trilogy has been optioned for feature TV series. In his 10th novel, We All Fall Down, Daniel combines suspense thriller with a historical mystery to postulate what might happen if the Black Death were released today from a forgotten relic of the Middle Ages.

To learn more about Daniel and his work, please visit his website.