5 and 4 Stars for Hell and High Water (THIRDS #1) by Charlie Cochet #MM #Military @charliecochet @dreamspinners


Title: Hell & High Water (THIRDS #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Charlie Cochet (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 7, 2014 – 296 pgs


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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I LOVED this story. I loved each individual member of the team even though the story follow mostly around Dex and Sloane. There is a lot of action going on and suspense as well with a touch of delicious romance thrown in as well.
I don’t know that I can think of a better story that I’ve read in a good long while that has so much action, urban fantasy and romance all swirled together to make such an amazing story that sucked me in and wouldn’t let me put the book down until it was over…. and picking up the next in the series.
It ends with a bit of a cliffy, but not so much that you’ll DIE without the next one, but if you are as invested as the characters as I am then you’ll want to know what happens next.


This is the first book in a great series. In this urban fantasy, a drug used during the Vietnam War has created a mutant race of shifters called Therians. This story follows Dex, a human detective who finds himself working for THIRDS, the government’s unified human/therian paramilitary defense agency. Dex finds himself taking the place of an agent who has recently been murdered and working with his team to solve the agent’s murder. The story is alternately funny and exciting – and at times there is even a hint of romance.I found the start of this story quite slow. There is an awful lot of world-building as the characters and the premise of the story unfold for readers. But Cochet writes well, and I found it easy to believe in her world once I understood it.

Dex’s THIRDS team, Destructive Delta is a mix of brilliant characters and much of this book is spent introducing the team. Each human member is paired with a shifter, and each character adds specific strengths to the team as well as unique character quirks. Dex works under his father and his brother, which adds a whole new set of complications to the relationships between the characters. The relationships between teammates is really the heart of the story and their interactions are always funny, but also awkwardly sincere and uncomfortably heartfelt. Charlie Cochet writes brilliant dialogue and it is never better than in this first book.

In this first story, there is romantic interest between Dex and his partner Sloane, but there are many complications that prevent the men from acting acting on their mutual attraction. Sloane and Dex are brilliant partners – all snark and posturing during their down time and solid teammates when threats present.

This is an action story, and once we know the characters, this becomes part paramilitary action and part detective story. It is the simplest of the books in the series and the one most like a basic detective story with a natural resolution. Like most good fantasy stories, though, there is some sharp social commentary behind the humour and action.

While we know whodunnit by the end, this isn’t a stand alone story. Readers will need to read the full series before the story properly concludes. This is only the beginning and things get a whole lot more complicated for Dex’s THIRDS team before the series concludes.



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Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.


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