Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Roan is hired by Scott to look for a hockey player friend of his. After a long night of celebratory drinking, Scott can’t quite remember what happened to his friend, and he isn’t answering his cell. Roan discovers Scott’s friend was much more troubled than he ever realized, and that some mysteries should remain unsolved.
Scott, one of Roan’s professional hockey player friends, is missing his teammate after a drunken night on the town. When the friend doesn’t show up for practice, a search is launched with Roan doing the investigating. What follows is a revelation into a player they thought they knew but turns out no one had any idea of what was bubbling under the surface.
Andrea Speed takes our favorite Infected characters off on a weekend investigation for one of Roan’s friends. It’s not a complicated case and it is solved almost as quickly as it begins but what matters here is the characters, their relationships and the journey the investigation takes them all on.
Infected: The Lost Weekend by Andrea Speed is a short side story to a long, densely layered, and evolving series. There is really no way to impart the pertinent series details in such a short story and Speed doesn’t try as it would not begin to do justice to this astonishing character and series. You must approach this story with the full knowledge of the ongoing plot and relationships. If you lack that background, this probably won’t make as much a impact on the reader. But a side story takes it for granted that you realize that the backstory will be missing and goes on from that standpoint. And from that point of view, Infected: The Lost Weekend delivers the sort of character interaction and dialog the readers have come to expect from this author and series.
I am a huge fan of Andrea Speed and Infected. I enjoy her stories as much for the peculiar and obscure cultural references as I do Infected’s evolving plot and characters. Here I get both. Involved in this storyline are Scott, a bisexual professional hockey player and friend of Roan’s. Holden Fox, ex high priced prostitute, Scott’s lover who plays an increasing part of Roan’s operations as a part-time investigator. Really, I just love Holden. His is a voice almost as strong as Roan’s and that’s a remarkable achievement. For Roan is one of the strangest, strongest, and angst driven characters I have had the pleasure of meeting in the pages of a novel. The Lost Weekend combines the three of them on a short journey of discovery.
The investigation into the events of a drunken weekend and a missing hockey player are given a fairly realistic treatment. It is a short examination of a person’s ability to hide their true personality and issues behind a facade and the ease with which others assume that who they see is the real persona. It makes you think about how many assumptions you might make in a day about people you think you know but really don’t know anything about. Scott knows just enough about the missing player to know that he’s in trouble but nothing more. It’s up to Roan to solve the puzzle to the man’s personality and find the solution to the case.
The resolution won’t surprise anyone but again its the journey here not the end of the trail that matters. Did I wish for more? Certainly, but I always feel like that when it comes to Roan and his group of highly individual and quirky friends. For those of us who crave a new Roan story, this provides temporary relief until the next installment appears. Or perhaps you can head over to Andrea Speed’s website for a new free “online only “story as well. Devil’s Night, part one is up now and if you are like me, you can never have enough Roan or the Infected universe.
If you are an Infected fan (and doesn’t that sound wrong) and a lover of all things Roan, then pick up Infected: The Lost Weekend and get your Roan fix in while we are waiting for the next story to drop. If you are new to this character and series, start at the beginning of Roan’s tale and work your way forward. It’s really the only way to see the character development, understand all the relationships that emerge and marvel at a story line that gets more convoluted with each new installment. Love the series, love, love the characters. Infected is one of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words must reads of any year.
Cover art by Paul Richmond. The Infected covers are dramatic, and darkly beautiful. They also do a terrific job of branding this series. I can spot an Infected novel just by looking at the cover instead of title and author. Great job.
Published September 1st 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
Here are the Infected series novels in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, events and overall plot:
Prey (Infected, #1)
Bloodlines (Infected, #2)
Life After Death (Infected, #3)
Freefall (Infected, #4)
Shift (Infected, #5)
Lesser Evils (Infected, #6)
Undertow (Infected, #7)
Infected: The Lost Weekend
Epitaph (Infected, #8) not yet released
Trick or Treat
Infected, Special Edition (Books 1-4)