Review: The Epidemic

Quinlan McKee has spent her life acting as other people. She was a closer—a person hired to play the role of the recently deceased in order to give their families closure. Through this process, Quinn learned to read people and situations, even losing a bit of herself to do so. But she couldn’t have guessed how her last case would bring down her entire world.

The only person Quinn trusts is Deacon, her best friend and the love of her life. Except Deacon’s been keeping secrets of his own, so Quinn must set out alone to find Arthur Pritchard, the doctor who’s been trying to control her life. The journey brings Quinn to Arthur’s daughter, Virginia, and Quinn quickly discovers that the two have a frightening amount in common. The secrets about both of their pasts could hold the key to fighting an epidemic.

But Quinlan doesn’t want to be a cure. And with all the lies surrounding her, she realizes she has no one left to rely on but herself—even if she doesn’t know who that is anymore.

I was definitely more hooked on this book than its predecessor – so much that I read it over the course of a day. 

Unlike The Remedy, Quinn is herself in this story as she tries to get to Dr. Pritchard to find out who she really is and to get behind the mystery of the suicide clusters in Oregon. One thing she learns in this book is that she cannot trust anyone a hundred percent, not even her closest friends. However, the lesson doesn’t totally stick with her as she’s a caring person and it seems like she wants to believe in the good in people. I admire that in her character, even if it comes back to bite her at times. 

She doesn’t end up completely alone though. It takes some time, but she learns who in her life really loves her. There are some double-crossings. and even triple-crossings, so it gave me mixed feelings for quite a few characters. Their intentions come out though, and the people who are true to Quinn end up doing what they have to do to help her, even if it means the end of themselves.

“Home is with the person you love, the person who loves you back stupidly and completely. Home is the space of peace in your heart.”

What I liked about this book was waiting for the mystery of finding out about Quinn’s past. I will say it wasn’t as satisfying when that mystery was figured out, which was due to Quinn realizing that she didn’t need to know her birth name after all (it is revealed at the very end though, so, yay). 

The story also kept me on edge, since Quinn was on the run, but also due to the new mysteries that kept popping up. The mystery of Virginia’s place in the suicide cluster, why the clusters were happening, what Pritchard was hiding… all that fun stuff. The author really knows how to keep readers engaged, and that’s why I had a hard time putting the book down… especially when it came time to go to work. 

There’s a bit of a lesson that Quinn learns by the end after trying to figure out who she really is and where she belongs in the world now. This book was a great ending to the prequel of The Program duology, and a great premise into it. 

Rating: 4/5 stars

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