Monday, September 1, 2014

Infected Shift by Andrea Speed

Title: Shift(Shift & Bloodbath)

Series title:  Infected 5

Author: Andrea Speed

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Genre: GLBT, Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal

Page Count:374

Reviewer: Cassiopeia

Buy link:

Publisher Blurb:

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.

Between his mutating virus and his rocky relationship with his artist boyfriend, Dylan, Roan has enough problems to solve without taking on other people’s, but that’s the nature of his work. Someone has to look into the case of the murdered trans woman, and if the perp is the dirty cop Roan suspects it is, the police are not the right people for the job.

But now Roan has a new obstacle to overcome: someone caught part of his transformation on video, and the media frenzy is making it hard to do his job. One case nets him a hockey team full of new friends. Another leads to an attempt on his life. And Roan’s hustler sidekick drags him on a quest for revenge. With his world and his body both in turmoil, Roan is finding it harder and harder to see the line between justice and vigilantism.

Review of book:

I like a good mystery.  It gives my brain a work out, and keeps me from getting bored with the “same old-same old” that as readers we can tend to gravitate to.  Imagine my surprise when reading Shift by Andrea Speed; I found a mystery that not only kept me guessing until the end, but a book that was darn entertaining!Shift is the fifth installment in the Infected series, and although I was perfectly fine reading it on its own, the reader in me wants to know the “whys” behind the book’s setting.  That means I'll absolutely be looking to pick up the earlier volumes to bone up on the backstory.

Ms. Speed, a new to me author, has offered up a plot that's chock full of enough twists and turns that you'll barely be able to stand it.  But you will, because you'll love this story enough that you'll want to glut yourself on Roan, Dylan, and their quirky cast of supporting characters.  Roan and Dylan not only had to deal with homophobes, they had the added stress of people who were biased against “infecteds” (the author’s term for anyone carrying the virus that causes them to shift into a feline form).  As superhuman as infecteds might be, they also had a set of issues that came with carrying the virus – namely drastically shortened life expectancy.  The couple had plenty of issues, but it was nice to see the author allow them to play out in such a way that you could well imagine that these were your friends or neighbors. 

Roan is a former police detective and owner of his own private investigation agency who’s jaded and guarded due to a life filled with disappointment and struggle.  It sometimes makes him a difficult nut to crack.  However prickly he can be, you can plainly see that he loves Dylan, and has a deep affection for Holden and his “new friends” aka the Seattle Falcons’ Hockey team.  He’s also loyal to an extreme, which makes for an interesting development in the second volume.  I can’t give it away, but it may mean that Roan - who’d like to think that life is safer for everyone if he remains the proverbial loner - may have more people looking to him for direction and guidance in his life than he’d bargained for.

If you like a book that’s got an engaging plot and enough quirky characters that you’ll want to “tune in” to see what happens next, then Infected:Shift by Andrea Speed may just be what the doctor ordered.  This cat has nine lives for sure!

                                                      Five Shooting Stars!!

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