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.
Holy Cow! I loved this book!
Dexter Daley was a detective for the Human Police Force (HPF) until he testified against his partner and became a target for his fellow police officers. He was transferred to Therian Human intelligence, Recon, Defense Squadron (THIRDS). Recruited by his dad to the Destructive Delta team, Dex replaces a member who’d been killed in the line of duty. Paired with the Therian team leader, Sloane Brodie, Dex understood he had an uphill battle. He’s intelligent, observant, and within moments noted what was wrong with his new team who still mourned the loss of their team member, Gabe.
Dex interjected hilarious antics and banter with his teammates, slowly wearing them down. Sloane called him a “man-child” more than once, and it was so true. I laughed and giggled throughout. OMG, the sock puppet! All I have to do is think about the scene and I bust out laughing. I have to say, Dex was the best choice for Delta team and it was shown throughout as Dex worked to be accepted by his teammates.
Since Gabe had been Sloane’s partner, his death naturally hit Sloane the hardest. He’s chased away a half dozen agents that THIRDS attempted to replace Gabe with. Faced with Dex as a partner, who he immediately detested, Sloane was told he wouldn’t get another. He was a good team leader, dependable and loyal, but he carried a secret he couldn’t share.
My only niggle about the story was the villain was predictable. I surmised the who and the what of the mystery before the team did. Even so, the character fit with the story and the social tension of the mixed human/Therian society Charlie created.
I adored the well-crafted secondary characters. The urban fantasy was rich in detail that had me easily visualizing the world without bogging down the pace of the story, and was written in such a way that it had a real world “feel” to it. This will definitely be a re-read and one of my all-time favorite books/series. This is an absolute must read.