Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen is the only one who believes a suspicious death is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her. Her neighbor Stephan Zoriak is a prime suspect. While working for a major pharmaceutical company, he is exposed to a dangerous organism that changed him. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help Mel find the truth when the deaths continue. In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find more death and continued distrust that make them wonder if love can defy death.
Review: This book is a great start to an interesting series. I got this book after struggling through three chapters of Ancient Blood, which is book two. Go ahead and buy both Ancient Awakening and Ancient Blood, because you won’t want to read just one book.
Mel’s the first and only female police officer in this little picturesque town, and the chief isn’t happy about it at all. When strange things start happening, she has to do her job without stepping on anyone’s toes. Steve is working day and night to find a cure for his disease. The sparks between Mel and Steve are immediate but he’s afraid he might infect her so he keeps her at a distance.
When prowlers are being reported everywhere and people start getting killed, Mel has to struggle to figure things out while dealing with her hurt from the aloof Steve. When they start working together to figure out what’s happening and keep each other alive, Steve has trouble concentrating on finding a cure so they can be together. The oddball Sammy seems to know everything, and poor Larry keeps finding unpleasant surprises. It’s a very well-rounded cast of characters which keeps the book moving through to the end.
I was often reminded of the movie Shakespeare In Love where Shakespeare says “Don’t spend it all at once,” because emotions and reactions were at the extreme from the beginning and there’s no build. The author needs a new editor, because there were several mistakes which should have been caught. This book seems to have more holes in it than the second, so she improves a lot in Ancient Blood. Continuity errors and repeated sentences are a big pet peeve for me, and knocked this down a star more than the scientific holes.
I don’t recommend this series for biology majors or anyone who studies viruses. I’m not sure how the science will read to someone who doesn’t know what mitochondria etc are. I think a non-scientific reader could overlook most of the errors in this book. I didn’t care for the ending at all, but I still enjoyed it enough to read the second one.