Blurb: 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.
Review: This is one of those books that has a lot going for it that is really pretty good, but has a handful of things that just rubbed me wrong and kind of threw it off.
Overall, the story line is pretty good and kept things interesting, though I picked up the bad guy and a lot of details right off the bat, so it fell more into the predictable range after that. Where things got weird and kept yanking me out of the story is with the characters. Don’t get me wrong, I really kind of liked them, but they just didn’t quite work for me.
Both of the main guys, Dex and Sloane, are these supposed tough guy cops with lots of experience, Sloane even being more badass as he is a shifter. Yet… their general personalities and several situations contradict those facts. Dex is constantly getting his ass handed to him, whether by several people at a time or sparring with Sloane. This happens several times throughout the book, even towards the end when it is up against only one guy. Compound that with some of Dex’s personality and antics that gets thrown around in what is supposed to make him funny, but it makes him seem kind of weak and cowardly (the funny usually worked, but in a really weird way). Sloane didn’t bug me quite as much as Dex, but we hardly saw any of what should have been his potential strengths.
There are certain job types or rolls that really do take a certain kind of personality to fit those rolls. That may seem a bit stereotypical, it is still something of an expectation people have. In what is darn near a SWAT like team or even a kind of military group, the personalities of both Dex and Sloane just don’t quite always work. Dex especially as there are times that he just really kind of comes across as the nerdy guy everyone beat up on rather than as a tough cop. Sloane’s was more in how his thoughts and emotions were presented along with his more “off duty” personality. Enough that it was hard for me to stay immersed in the story and that ended up overshadowing what could have been a really good story.
Throw into that mix a story that doesn’t really have any clean resolutions by the end of the book and this was a mostly good, but frustrating read.