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Hell & High Water (THIRDS Book 1)

Hell & High Water (THIRDS Book 1) - Charlie Cochet
I stumbled upon this series a few days ago and it sounded like I would like it, so I immediately got me the first book.
I half expected just to get some men and women in uniform, shapeshifters, a brewing struggle between human and shapeshifters and some romance, a setup that worked well for me in several other books I read so far, but I got more.

Let me elaborate:
The world Charlie Cochet created is one where shapeshifters (aka Therians) were created by accident by humans in the 70ies when biological warfare in the Vietnam War released a virus which later required development of an antidote. This antidote created the shapeshifter mutations.
To cope with that, the government created a Therian government called THIRDS (aka Therian Human Intelligence, Recon, Defence Squadron).
The counterpart for the human population is the HPF (aka Human Police Force).

The story starts with human homicide detective Dexter J. Daley’s testimony against his former partner after him witnessing him committing cold blooded murder. This leads to Dex being treated like an outcast and as a traitor of his precinct in the HPF and human race, since the victim was a young Therian.
Eventually he loses his job but he gets sort of promoted to be an agent with the THIRDS because his dad is a sergeant there. Therians clearly don’t have a problem with family members working together.
Agent Sloane Brodie is a jaguar Therian and Dex’s new team leader and partner. He previously lost his partner and rejected all other potential candidates so far. He and the rest of the team fully intended to do the same with Dex because they were all still grieving. All while they had to solve a case of murders of Therians.
But well Dex is Dex …. He somehow managed to find his place in the team and the heart of Sloane and the process of it was somewhat funny as hell. Dex is a dork. A huge ABBA singing dork.
I loved Dex’s banter with Sloane.

Sloane turned, arching an eyebrow at Dex.
“What kind of gay man are you?” Dex thrust a finger toward the door.
“Out of my house. Your kind isn’t welcome here.”

“You seem to forget where you are. You’re in Casa de Dex, and in Casa de Dex is much singing.”

“You gotta stop doing that!”
“Doing what?”
“That popping-up-outta-nowhere thing you do.”
Sloane’s brows rose in amusement. “ I use doors like everyone else.”

“Are these,”-Sloane peered at the wrapping paper-“stripping Santas?”
Dex wiggled his brows, “In thongs. Pole dancing.”
“Sometimes I worry about you.” Sloane shook his head, before tearing through the paper.

I also loved the banter between Dex and his team mate Ash. So funny.

Ash rushed forward, and Dex aimed his rifle.
“I swear I will send your hairy ass back to Narnia if you don’t back the fuck up,” Dex warned him, releasing the safety on his rifle.

Oh god, he was about to get a hard-on at work, and the bastard (Sloane) that was the cause of it was loving every moment of it.
Think unsexy thoughts. Think unsexy thoughts.
Ash’s growl echoed through the showers. “What are you two gay boys doing in there?”
Aaand done.

I loved the writing style of this author. This was my first book of hers, but I’m already set on reading the second book in this series.
She created an interesting world and I hope she writes more about the development of the Therians in the future instalments.
The way she developed the team dynamics and their banter was beautiful and just perfect.
I also liked that in this world the main problem was the hate of some humans against the Therians and not skin colour or a different sexuality.
It was also refreshing to read a shifter novel without them acting like sex starved idiots in a frenzy.

But there were also some parts I didn’t like that much.
The mystery came a bit short for my liking and felt rushed in the end because the development of Dex’s and Sloane’s relationship took a huge part of the book. It also was kind of obvious after a certain point. This could have been done better.
I also thought that Dex at the beginning was vastly different from the Dex who started at THIRDS. He went from depressed and frustrated to an always funny and happy dork in no time. However I like the Dex at THIRDS better.

I would recommend this book and I’m going to continue the series not just because of the cliffhanger , but also because I want to know how the relationship between Dex and Sloane continues. I also want to know more about the rest of the team.