Title: Infected: Freefall
Author: Andrea Speed
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Buy Link Infected: Freefall
Genre: M/M paranormal romance, mystery
Length: 350 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Jenre
Summary Review: No respite for Roan in this fourth book in the Infected series as his addictions spiral out of control and someone is trying to kill him.
This review contains spoilers for previous books in the Infected series.
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….
This fourth book in the Infected series sees things going rapidly downhill for Roan. His addiction to painkillers is consuming his life, he’s having trouble controlling his lion and is spiralling further and further into depression. There are two separate mysteries for him to solve too, but whilst these are interesting – one is the discovery of a missing child and the other is the seemingly suspicious death of a local politician – they do take a back seat to the drama in Roan’s life. I’m not complaining about this because Roan is a fascinating character. His personal life is at an all time low, as as part of this Roan has increasingly vivid dreams about Paris and also his first lover Connor who committed suicide. This allows at least a little closure for Roan on that aspect of his past as his subconscious forces him to think through his life with Connor. Sometimes dreams in books don’t work for me but they did here because I could see why they were being used.
My main niggle with the story is focused on the relationship between Roan and Dylan. I honestly don’t think they are very suited to each other and as such in my mind I still see them as a transient couple. Don’t get me wrong, I love both characters and I think this is why I get a funny concerned feeling about their relationship. Dylan is just too nice and accepting to be with Roan. He’s not strong enough to stand up to Roan and often takes the line of least resistance, putting up with an awful lot of crap from Roan, crap that Paris would never have stood for. Take Roan’s addiction for example. Dylan knows about the addiction but refuses to tackle Roan about it, preferring to be a gentle support for Roan instead. In many ways Dylan is part of Roan’s problem because he’s so concerned about not rocking the boat, he just stands back and lets Roan get worse and worse. Roan needs someone who will kick his arse from time to time, who won’t take crap from him and who cares deeply enough to fight Roan for what is best for him. Paris was like that, and Roan needs another Paris, or someone very similar. Dylan may profess to love Roan deeply, but he doesn’t love Roan’s lion in the same way Paris did. I wonder really whether Roan will ever find someone to love and care for him as deeply as Paris, and that saddens me.
What I did really like though was the way that Holden is becoming more of a main character in these books. I like Holden because although he’s a hooker, he’s also got a wild intelligence about him. As the book progresses, Holden begins to take on the role of Roan’s assistant and even though his approach to things is very different, and more emotional than Roan, I can see that they will work well as a team. There’s a lot going on under the surface of Holden, behind the facade he puts on for the world, and I look forward to seeing more of him in future books.
I’m really enjoying this Infected series and was particularly pleased that the editing seemed a little tighter in this book than the previous one. There were no loose ends or inconsistencies, only hard boiled drama with some gripping and realistic action scenes. I love that the action is interspersed with some well written strong characterisation, and was pleased to get into the head of both Dylan and Holden for parts of the book.
As with many of these books we end on a cliffhanger and it’s not good news for Roan. He’s starting to come to terms with his lion – a theme which stretches through this book in particular – and I am interested to see how their symbiotic relationship withing Roan’s body will develop into further books.
If your a fan of this series, then this book is a must. If you haven’t started the series yet, then I urge you to start now, even if you just begin at book three for those who are unable to cope with the lack of HEA for Roan and Paris. I really enjoyed Infected: Freefall and would recommend it as a fantastic paranormal story.