Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book of the Week - Infected: Freefall

Title: Infected: Freefall (Book 4)
Author: Andrea Speed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 343 pages
Rating: 4.5 Quills
Tags: paranormal, shifter, detective, mystery, second love, artist


In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

Conceived bearing the lion strain of the virus, Roan is the only fully functioning virus child in the country—maybe in the world. But that doesn’t mean he’s okay. He’s still struggling with the death of his husband and the guilt of finding new love; his old enemy, the Church of the Divine Transformation, is becoming increasingly hostile; and he’s taken on a tragic cold case involving a long-missing boy.

As Roan fights to control the lion inside him, his world explodes with all kinds of trouble. The leader of the church is ramping up the violence against him, calling Roan out as a traitor to his kind. There’s a loose Infected terrorizing the city. And Holden, male prostitute and Roan’s unofficial assistant, brings him a case involving the suspicious death of one of Holden’s clients, which puts Roan far too close to a murderer for his state of mind....


Freefall is a continuation of Roan's story and it is a wonderfully rich addition. Normally, I am all about the HEA when I am reading. I feel let down when I don't get it and will often eschew authors who I know won't give it to me. It must be a testament to her skill that despite almost never giving me a traditional or partial happy ending, I keep coming back for more of the Infected series.

The brilliance of this series is that is not merely a paranormal story or merely a detective story or merely a romance. It is a series about Roan's life. He happens to be a private detective were-cat with somewhat of a roller coaster of a love life. We are let into every aspect of his life and the lives of those around him. Andrea paints a picture of a complete world. What, in other books, might come across as meaningless minutiae, in this book, comes across as world building of the most epic and beautiful and simple kind.

Roan is such a tragically, humanly, wonderfully flawed character that you can't help loving him while at the same time pulling your hair out as you watch him do one stupidly heroic macho thing after another. Furthermore, (spoilers ahead) after reading about him with Paris for two books and crying along side him as he spirals into a deep dark place after Paris dies, it almost seems like there could be no hope for him. But Andrea brings you along on his painfully slow journey of healing (which is by no means complete yet) and allows Roan to become more than just a character on the page. He crawls into your heart, along with his hopelessly loveable band of friends and won't let go. This book gets and unreserved 4.5 Quill rating.

On one final note, the cover art for this series is some of the most hauntingly creepily beautiful work I have ever seen.

Again, you can find Infected: Freefall for $6.99 at Dreamspinner Press.

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