Doctor Rikki Kinn is a virus hunter – one of the best – working in the Congo for the CDC. But when mercenaries attempt to kidnap her in order to prevent an investigation into a new and deadly plague, her boss calls in a favor from the men at Dirk & Steele…
Africa is Amiri’s home, where he was raised to race as a cheetah, to wake with the sun. It is also a land of lingering nightmare, where he was kidnapped and experimented upon. Now, against his better judgment, Amiri has been asked to return to his homeland by his colleagues in Dirk & Steele – men who are friends and brothers, who like himself are more than human.
He must protect a woman who is the target of murderers, who has unwittingly involved herself in a conflict that threatens not only the lives of millions, but Amiri’s own soul…and his heart.
When she’s called into the Congo to find out what killed 1,000 people, Dr. Rikki Kinn has no idea what she’s walking into. First of all, she’s almost gunned down before she can even get to the plane that will take her there. Finally arriving, Rikki finds that even she can not name what has killed so many people in such a short amount of time. When two men from a private security firm arrive at their camp, she makes a lasting first impression.
Ever since he escaped the Consortium prison, Amiri has been a loner. Returning to Africa for the first time in years was bittersweet. Charged with protecting an American doctor, Amiri does not expect the primitive urge he feels to keep Rikki safe. When the camp is attacked and almost everyone killed, Amiri and Eddie (another D&S agent) take Rikki and make a run for it in the jungle. It’s in the jungle that Rikki realizes that the virus that killed so many may have been man made.
I really loved this book. Rikki was a strong, yet likable heroine. As a shape-shifting Cheetah, Amiri was a fascinating hero. Living in Africa for almost his whole life, being kidnapped, then escaping, Amiri finds life very different in the streets of San Francisco. Both Rikki and Amiri were the epitome of a “tortured hero/heroine”. While on assignment several years ago, Rikki and the group of aid workers she was with here killed. As the sole survivor, Rikki always questioned why she was spared. It isn’t until Amiri forces her to take a deeper look that she realizes that what happened then and what is happening now are related. As for Amiri, his father (also a shape-shifter) got his human mother pregnant and then kidnapped him. Having very strict beliefs in the human race, his father tries to teach him that humans are not to be trusted. Though he loved his father, he was unable to accept when he killed the woman Amiri loved.
I think what I liked most about this book was that it returns to the root of the series. Dirk & Steele vs The Consortium. Good vs Evil. Adding the paranormal element just makes the series more brilliant. As in most Liu books, all is not what it seems. What may obviously seem like a betrayal may not necessarily be that. We also get to visit with some of our favorite Dirk & Steele characters which only make the book better.
5 out of 5.
This book will be available on Jan. 29th. You can pre-order it here.