Here’s a look at what’s inside…
The citizens of San Antonio, Texas are threatened with extermination by a terrifying outbreak of the flu. Quarantined by the military to contain the virus, the population is in a desperate struggle to survive.
Inside the quarantine walls, a San Antonio Police Homicide Detective named Lily Harris is working burial statistics duty at the Scar, San Antonio’s mass graveyard, when she finds a murder victim hidden amongst the plague dead.
But from the very start, Lily’s investigation makes a lot of powerful people very uncomfortable, and she soon finds herself caught up in a vicious battle between a corrupt local government, a beleaguered medical institution, and a civilian population threatening to boil over into revolt at the quarantine.
Now, with a second and even deadlier strain of the flu virus surfacing, Lily is forced to do the unthinkable. With the clock ticking toward annihilation, Lily must lead her family through the quarantine walls and escape with news that just might save us all.
I’ve had some enthusiastic early reviews, and here’s what they’re saying…
“McKinney has woven a taut whodunit, then ramped up the suspense and the stakes by spreading it across the backdrop of an apocalyptic plague. But as grisly as the murders and the disease are, the author wisely holds everything together with the powerful passion of a mother’s love for her daughter, thereby making his tale all the more satisfying and memorable.”
—Dr. Kim Paffenroth, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Dying to Live and Gospel of the Living Dead
“A crisply written police procedural set in the ravaged plague zone of a quarantined metropolis, rich in character and action, often brutal and sometimes touching, Joe McKinney’s latest is the kind of novel that may keep you up late into the night because it’s so hard to put down.”
—Bruce Boston, author of The Guardener’s Tale
Quarantined is a personal favorite of mine. Not only did it give me a chance to use some of the training I received working in disaster mitigation for the San Antonio Police Department, but it also gave me the chance to talk about women in policing. For the last ten years or so I’ve felt uneasy about the way female officers are treated, both by the public at large and, in a few cases, by their fellow officers. Female cops are expected to be physically tough, yet they’re frequently snickered at when they fail to maintain their femininity. If they are as strong and as tough as their male counterparts, people make jokes about them being dykes. If they are pretty, people assume they’re too girlie to do a cop’s job. Or worse, make jokes about them being sluts and sleeping their way up the chain of command for easier assignments. The issue really bothered me, and until I got to know Detective Lily Harris, I had no way to wrap my mind around the issue. What I needed was a way to walk a mile in a female officer’s shoes, and Lily Harris allowed me to do just that. I hope that when readers meet Lily Harris they see a woman struggling to be the best cop she can be, while at the same time trying to be a lover to her husband and a nurturing mother to her daughter. She is pulled in every direction at once, sometimes succeeding and sometimes not, but always doing the best she can with what she’s got.
Oh, and if you enjoy Quarantined, and I hope you do, check out my story “Plague Dogs” in the recently released anthology Potter’s Field 3 (Sam’s Dot Publishing, 2009). While not a sequel in the true sense of the world, “Plague Dogs” takes place in the same world as Quarantined…and gives you a peak at Lily’s world four years into the future.
I hope you get to read some great books this year, everybody!
Wishing you the best,