Sometimes in a series there is a point where the writing seems to lag but in the fifth book in the Infected series, Infected Shift by Andrea Speed, this is not the case. This book which was reissued by DSP Publications is even stronger than the previous books. The writing style has continued to improve and the characters seem to grow and change as the world builds. Speed has once more broken the book into two separate stories, which means two new investigations.
Infected Shift picks up where the last book left off. Roan is recovering from an aneurysm that should have killed him and everyone from his friends to Dylan are trying to determine what this means for him and his health. Part of how Roan continues to deal with his health is copious amounts of pain pills and partial shifts into his lion. In the meantime, Roan still has to deal with the fallout of someone catching a partial shift on video plus he still has cases to solve. One of those cases has him investigating the murder of a transgender woman and it looks like the suspect may have been a dirty cop, which means the last people Roan wants on the case are the police. This particular case brings some very interesting people into Roan’s life in the form of an entire hockey team. With one case that might just get him killed and another case that leaves him with a lot more friends than he ever bargained for, Infected Shift brings a new level of drama to the pages.
Roan might be a private investigator and his job is to find the truth and solve a crime but his life is anything but figured out. While some people in his life might consider his behavior to be borderline suicidal, Roan finds his behavior to be normal considering he has no idea what his virus has done to him. Not only is Roan struggling to deal with his health but also with his own sense of justice and vigilantism. In Infected Shift, Speed delves further into who Roan is as an infected and yet instead of getting answers, there seem to be a lot more questions.
Another major aspect of this fifth book in the series is relationships. Roan has had a few friends that have continued to stick by him and a new partner that is definitely his complete opposite, but in Infected Shift we meet an entirely new group of people that just seem to work with who Roan is as a character. Roan has proven to be a romantic individual although he would not necessarily admit to that and he is also very sarcastic with the heart of a warrior. His real friends are extremely loyal and he inspires them in his own way. By adding in this team of hockey players along with the continued presence of Holden, Speed is giving Roan a circle of people that better understand his as a warrior and as a fighter.
Andrea Speed has used Infected Shift as almost a turning point in this series. Adding in new characters and relationships propels Roan’s character forward. There is something unique about this world and the way the story progresses. Even as some questions are answered new ones continue to arise. It will be interesting to read what comes next for Roan and his friends.
By Kimberley Spinney