This sequel to the excellent Infected (see top list elsewhere here)
continues Perry Dawsey, Margaret Montoya and Dew Phillips' fight against the alien invaders who grow inside the human body.
"Scary" Perry Dawsey is an awesome character, he is like Jack Reacher on acid and every time he appears the story cranks up a notch. Recovered from his own infection in the previous book but still extremely physically and emotionally scarred, Dawsey now tracks and kills infected hosts.
Infected was basically Perry's battle with "the triangles" and although there was great character development elsewhere, he was the star of the show, which resulted in a thrilling journey into the mind of a man who wouldn't back down from a fight, no matter how dangerous the opponent or how terrifying the consequences.
Contagious is more of an ensemble piece. The cast of characters is mostly good but the story gets caught up in Presidential decisions and military action and I found myself racing through chapters to get back to Perry Dawsey.
Top billing is shared with CIA Agent Dew Phillips, who himself is a fantastic character, the battle weary veteran must keep control of various volatile situations throughout the book and he does so with all the style of an ageing John Wayne.
Unfortunately the main villain is a little girl and no matter how well it's explained or how formidable a character she becomes I'm just sick of supposedly scary little girls. There seems to have been an abundence of them ever since the film The Ring.
That aside this is still a great read and should not be judged by it's cover. More a well developed, character based, battle for the survival of the human race than a blood and guts (although there is plenty of that too) splatter book.
Read Infected and take it from there.
Ric's Rating: 74%