SHADOW FALLING – Rebecca Zanetti
Scorpius Syndrome , Book 2
Zebra Books
ISBN: 978-1-4201-3796-5
September 2016
Romantic Suspense

Vanguard Territory (formerly Los Angeles) – Post Apocalypse

In the six months since the Scorpius bacterium was identified, the population of the U.S. decreased by 90%, and those still living have either been lucky enough to avoid the bacterium, or have survived it.  All of the survivors have noticed changes, but too many of them have changed drastically for the worst.  Sociopaths are now taking over the planet, and the president of the U.S. is one of the biggest sociopaths of all.

Once a rising star in the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, Vivienne “Vinnie” Wellington was one of the best in her field, until Scorpius hit.  Now, the FBI is only a memory, and Vinnie's instincts have become disturbingly uncanny.  Her success rate brought her to the attention of the president, who held her captive and drugged for weeks until she was rescued by Vanguard.  Whether a byproduct of Scorpius or the drugs forced on her, Vinnie occasionally gets flashes of what people are thinking – and the hallucinations of her dead step-mother make the psychologist wonder if she's crazy.  Even scarier for Vinnie is how safe she feels with Raze Shadow, the man who rescued her from the president.  In a world gone crazy, safety is an illusion, and a man teeming with secrets should be the scariest one of all.

Raze left behind the military shortly after Scorpius hit, and only recently joined Vanguard.  He respects Jax Mercury – even likes the man, but knows without a doubt that when he carries out his mission, Jax will consider him an enemy.  Though Raze would like to stay with Vanguard, his first concern is his sister, who is being held captive by the Mercenaries, one of Vanguard's enemies.  All he has to do to get his sister back is turn Vinnie over to the Mercenaries, but after spending time with her, Raze isn't sure if he'll be able to.

The world after Scorpius is a grim place, as is brilliantly illustrated in SHADOW FALLING.  Before being infected, Vinnie was a brilliant and controlled psychologist, but now her mouth tends to run away from her, blurting out whatever thoughts pop into her head – even if they aren't appropriate for sharing.  Her attraction to Raze is surprising to her, especially since she's aware he's hiding something important.  For Raze, the attraction is inconvenient, and not just because of his plans to trade Vinnie for his sister.  Once he carries out his mission, he'll be out of Vanguard and without resources, but he doesn't see any other choices.

Along with the relationship between Raze and Vinnie, some of the storyline has carried over from the first book in the series, MERCURY RISING.  There is still hope that a cure might be found for Scorpius, but with no resources, and even fewer scientists, that hope is dwindling.  Lynne Harmony, who was once the head of the CDC investigating Scorpius and its most famous survivor, is starting to believe that the myths about the Bunker, a secret government facility, may be true, but they aren't the only ones looking for it.  In the middle of all of this, a threat comes from within, leaving Jax and his crew with their hands full.

An engaging suspense, don't miss SHADOW FALLING.

Jennifer Bishop