Hell & High Water (THIRDS #1) by Charlie Cochet

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

When homicide detective Dexter J. Daley’s testimony helps send his partner away for murder, the consequences—and the media frenzy—aren’t far behind. He soon finds himself sans boyfriend, sans friends, and, after an unpleasant encounter in a parking garage after the trial, he’s lucky he doesn’t find himself sans teeth. Dex fears he’ll get transferred from the Human Police Force’s Sixth Precinct, or worse, get dismissed. Instead, his adoptive father—a sergeant at the Therian-Human Intelligence Recon Defense Squadron otherwise known as the THIRDS—pulls a few strings, and Dex gets recruited as a Defense Agent.

Dex is determined to get his life back on track and eager to get started in his new job. But his first meeting with Team Leader Sloane Brodie, who also happens to be his new jaguar Therian partner, turns disastrous. When the team is called to investigate the murders of three HumaniTherian activists, it soon becomes clear to Dex that getting his partner and the rest of the tightknit team to accept him will be a lot harder than catching the killer—and every bit as dangerous.

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What can I say about this? I have heard so many wonderful things about this book the rave reviews that everyone gave me. Needless to say it definitely earned the high praises. This book managed to snatch my attention from the beginning of the first page and retained my attention to the end of the last page. I liked this world where shifters are presented differently. In this, they’re not in hiding, finding mates or in the throes of any mating heat. The Therians are the result of a human made virus gone horribly awry that was released decades before. THIRDS is a governmental police force created to investigate and fight crimes involving Therians.

Dex is transferred to this organization from the Human Police Force after testifying against his former partner for the murder of an unarmed Therian youth. Now this is where is where the only bump in the road for this book starts for me. In the beginning of the book, Dex is left in a bad place after the trial. His colleagues on the force, people he trusted on the police force, people he considered friends turned against him, his boyfriend leaves him. Then he’s transferred to the THIRDS thanks to his dad pulling a few strings. Okay, he arrives to the new unit and his personality totally changes. I mean complete 180 that left me wondering if I missed something. He goes from being this somber detective whose life is falling apart and becomes this happy go lucky, jokester who is happy and laughing and just laid back. It gave me whiplash along with the unclear POV shifts. That personality shift wasn’t explained in the story so I just figured that was always his personality and it just wasn’t presented with the trial and all of the drama he was dealing with while with the HPF.

With that aside, his antics were pretty hilarious. I found myself laughing to the point of tears. Even though it was just a bit over the top, I felt that it was exactly what the team needed at that time. They were all hurting after losing a beloved team member and they were functioning, but not really dealing with the loss.

The pace was slow but not bad but a few ‘info dumps’ caused the story to drag in some parts. In all, this was a very good book and I truly enjoyed it. The action (once it got going) was pretty awesome. The mystery was well written along with the dialogue. The cliffhanger at the end of the story will segue perfect into the next in the series. I really enjoyed reading this book and couldn’t put it down once I got started.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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