Infected Bloodlines is the second book in the Infected series by Andrea Speed. The series follows Roan, an infected ex-cop who now works as a private investigator. The entire series was originally released by Dreamspinner Press in December of 2010 and has been reissued by DSP Publications under a new genre. The first time the book was released it was categorized as an erotic romance due to the main characters being a gay couple but with the reissue the book now falls under supernatural mystery and suspense. The Infected series would actually best be described as urban fantasy, suspense.
In this latest installment of the Infected series Roan takes on a case involving a murdered rich girl. While Roan is not interested in dealing with this case his friend Matt convinces him to get involved. During the investigation, Roan finds out a family’s dirty secrets, ones that are so destructive that the family would rather no one finds out what lurks in the closet. As with the first book the readers get a chance to really see who Roan is over the course of the investigation. This time readers get a better feel for what he is dealing with personally and professionally.
In this second book, Roan and Paris are now married and dealing with the effects of Paris’ tiger strain of the virus. While Roan is handling his latest case, he is also struggling to come to terms with the declining health of his husband. With the first book in the series, readers had the chance to witness Roan’s struggle accepting his lion and who he is. In the second book, Paris has helped Roan come to terms with who he is and just how much his lion is a part of him but now Roan has to also accept that the tiger strain is going to eventually kill Paris.
Much of the foreshadowing that Andrea Speed sets up in the first book plays out in Infected Bloodlines. Readers get to learn a little bit more of how being born infected makes Roan different from those who contract the virus. There is more world building and also a lot more character development throughout the entire second novel.
A major aspect of Infected Bloodlines is the emotional connection between Roan and Paris as well as between the characters and the readers. Speed sets up what has to happen if she intends to stay true to the world she has created and the way she writes the story is honest, gritty and stark. Even in the first book, you know what has to happen with Paris and his particular strain of the virus. Instead of destroying the integrity of her story, Speed tackles the storyline head on and does not shy away from getting her hands dirty.
Infected Bloodlines ends in a way that leaves a reader feeling emotionally wrung out yet also satisfied that the writer has stayed true to the writing. This book easily sets up for the next book although it does end in a manner that does not leave the reader unsatisfied. There is a clear ending to Infected Bloodlines with no cliffhangers, readers will want to pick up the next book to see what is next for Roan.
By Kimberley Spinney
Photo by Eric Kilby –