Author: Andrea Speed
Publisher: DSP Publications
Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links: DSPP and Amazon
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb:Sequel to Infected: Prey
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.
The newly married Roan is struggling to balance his work with his home life as he grows increasingly distracted by his husband Paris’s declining health. One case with strong emotions attached takes up most of his time: finding the murderer of a missing little rich girl.
It’s a family with secrets so toxic they’d rather no one investigate, and there’s no shortage of suspects. But despite the dangers and obstructions involved, Roan won’t stop… until he loses something infinitely precious as well.
2nd edition released October 2014
Review: Bloodlines is book two in the Infected series. Technically, it could be considered book three as book one, Prey, is made up of two novellas, Infected and Prey. Although the mystery element is standalone, Bloodlines needs to be read in series order to understand the world, the characters and relationship dynamics and avoid a major spoiler.
It is virtually impossible to write a review of this book and avoid at least heavy hints that I would consider to be a spoiler, so fair warning.
Back from their wedding and honeymoon spent with Paris’ family in Canada, Roan and Paris are surprised by the return of Matt, the annoying (and rather adorkable) sidekick from Prey. He’s done some growing up, in more ways than one, since the last time they saw him. Matt’s friend Callie has gone missing and Matt is convinced that it is foul play, despite how messed up Callie may have been. As Roan questions Matt, he discovers that Callie was, in fact, Thora Bishop, the daughter of a rich and influential family of the area. It’s enough to pique Roan’s interest, especially combines with the earnest concern of Matt.
The mystery is as well constructed as the ones in the previous book, but there is little doubt left that the main focus of this book is the relationship between Roan and Paris. Infected with the deadly Tiger strain of a virus that literally regularly turns the infected into one of five different types of mindless big cats, Paris has been living on borrowed time for the last couple of years. Recently it’s become obvious that the time he has left before his body gives out under the havoc wreaked by the virus is rapidly coming to an end. Paris is as irreverent, playful and charming as ever, but the picture of his rapidly failing health is painted crystal clear, and Roan is painfully struggling with the imminent loss of the love of his life.
The depth of emotion that the author’s writing brings out of these two characters is astounding. Yes, there is a pervading sadness throughout this book. How can there not be? Two weeks later and sitting in the local library writing this review, I still can’t help from tearing up. I won’t deny that when I finished this book I was devastated. Absolutely, sobbingly, tissue destroyingly, devastated (I was fine once I was finally able to breath through my nose again, though. Really.) The story stayed with me for days after I finished it. I think Paris is going to be one of those rare characters that any time his name is mentioned, I will feel a little wave of sadness. Having said that, Bloodlines is not one long slide into despair. The deep love between Roan and Paris is beautiful and the depth of it is wonderfully portrayed. The banter between them is entertaining and delightful and the added mystery with the case Roan is working on provides a good balance with the emotional impact of Roan and Paris’ story.
The reappearance of Matt made me very happy, as I really liked his character in the previous book and was hoping he would return. He’s still adorkable, but he’s also grown a lot and the new and improved Matt was a great character.
It’s an incredible writer who can make characters seem so very real that they feel like they are people you actually know; people who’s lives you celebrate and mourn along with your other friends – the ones that are not just figments of someone’s imagination. As much as this book broke my heart, I am looking forward to continuing Roan’s journey with him. Once my heart stops bleeding from being ripped out, of course.