Hell & High Water

Author: Charlie Cochet

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: 07-07-2014

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: Ebook

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When homicide detective Dexter J. Daley witnesses his partner shoot a Therian teenager, his only option is to report him. It results in frantic media attention and angry cops jumping him whenever he’s alone—and then Dex’s boyfriend bails. Work is tense and unfriendly, and Dex fears being fired from his position with the Human Police Force. Then he’s offered a transfer into the elite human-therian squadron, commonly known as the THIRDS. It’s an opportunity for a new start, but from day one it’s obvious his new Team Leader and jaguar Therian partner, Sloane Brodie, isn’t thrilled with his arrival.

Dex’s initial meeting with his new unit doesn’t go smoothly and there isn’t time to build any rapport before they’re thrown into a high profile case. There’s been three HumaniTherian activists murdered but they have few leads and no suspects. Becoming part of the team is difficult but not impossible, and as the case progresses, Dex grows closer to Sloane. Then the investigation points in a direction no one expected and the danger mounts. With a killer still on the run, can Dex and Sloane survive to build a relationship?

HELL & HIGH WATER is the first release in the new M/M paranormal series, THIRDS, by Charlie Cochet. You can’t see it but I’m rubbing my hands together with glee because I’ve found a new author (for me) who has just released a book I’m excited about. I’m happy to report that it’s filled with lots of action, a solid premise and interesting characters—and there’s going to be more books. Yeah! The next one should be released August 4th, and four more are listed on Goodreads, for a total of six, so far.

I admit I’m usually not a big fan of prologues, truthfully, I’m pretty picky about the ones I like, and this short one falls into the like category. It includes background history on what events led to the DNA-altering virus that birthed a new species, the Therians, and how their appearance changed the world.  It’s good information to have before jumping into the story and the problems the humans and Therians face in the changed world of the present.

Then the first chapter begins. You’re immediately faced with a country in turmoil due to the differences in the individuals inhabiting it and the bigotry, anger and fear that goes along with it. You also get a look at politics, weapons, technology, the problems of policing two groups of citizens and the hostility that goes with it. That’s where the THIRDS come in—the TherianHuman, Intelligence, Recon, Defense Squadron. Take it from me, this story is well written and the vivid manner in which this new world is fleshed out makes it come alive.

The author did an excellent job
of developing the personalities of Dex and Sloane. They’re interesting separately and are more so as a couple, although initially putting Dex, a guy who likes to have fun with gruff, jaguar-shifter Sloane, didn’t seem like a good idea. It took a bit of creativity but they make a good match and I appreciate that their relationship built slowly to make it believable after their rocky start. What I also like is that their murder case isn’t overshadowed by the personal stuff. There is plenty of time spent on their investigative work and tracking down leads, which allows learning about the other team members and seeing them work together. As their relationship grew, the suspense did too, while the hunt for the killer focuses on a suspect. Towards the end there are some exciting scenes with lots of action, danger and suspense. I found the closing scenes satisfying and can’t want to see what happens in the next release. Look for BLOOD & THUNDER.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Gayle

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